Miami-Dade County

Feds find small arsenal in Arizona fugitive’s boat at Dinner Key Marina

Federal agents on Thursday found four assault-type rifles, a handgun and about 3,000 rounds of ammunition inside the sailboat docked at Coconut Grove’s Dinner Key Marina of an Arizona fugitive wanted for sexual assault.

Robert Joseph Van Gundy and his wife, Arielle Van Gundy, were arrested on Wednesday headed to their boat at the marina. On the run, they drove from Arizona to Miami and planned to sail to the Bahamas.

The Van Gundys appeared in Miami-Dade court Thursday. Arielle, who faces felony charges for carrying a concealed fire arm, had a bond hearing. Her husband’s extradition hearing was scheduled for Sept., 13.

Van Gundy was wanted in Chino Valley where he faced sexual exploitation of a minor and sexual conduct with a minor charges. Local authorities released a warrant for his arrest on Aug. 14 soon after Van Gundy, whose bail was set at $500,000, failed to show up to his court date, U.S. Marshal spokesman Barry Golden said.

Federal agents searched the sailboat on Thursday and found the guns and ammo, said Ed Halley, supervisory special agent for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The fugitive couple purchased the $4,000 sailboat about a month ago and had been hiding out in a Hialeah motel.

Authorities suspected the fugitive couple of being part of an anti-government, anti-law enforcement group and believed that they had guns and ammunition inside the boat, Golden said. “We took extreme precaution,” he said of the arrest.

Arielle Van Gundy was also arrested Wednesday after authorities found a small handgun in her purse. She does not have a concealed weapons permit in Florida.

Besides the weapons, agents also found a stockpile of food.