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(WABNEWS) — A Florida man and his grandson were stunned when they pulled out more than just scrap metal and bottle caps during a magnet fishing trip over the weekend.
Duane Smith and his 11-year-old grandson, Allen Cadwalader, were out magnet fishing on January 30 in Homestead, a suburb of Miami, Florida, when within five minutes of their arrival, Cadwalader pulled out two sniper rifles and two wrapped magazines. in cellophane, Smith told WABNEWS.RELATED
It was their first time magnet fishing, Smith said, and he chose a bridge with a canal near where he normally hikes.
Magnet fishing uses a powerful magnet attached to a thick rope to try to fish for metal objects that have sunk to the bottom of canals, lakes, ponds, and rivers.
It’s a hobby Smith recently became interested in after watching several YouTube videos of the practice. He thought it would be a more attractive activity for his grandson, who is autistic, than traditional fishing.
“With magnet fishing, every time I cast or every other time I hit something,” says Smith. “There’s a bottle cap or, you know, a $7,000 sniper rifle.”
Smith calls it beginner’s luck, but said that thanks to the YouTube videos he watched, he was prepared to find all sorts of things.
“It’s kind of a gambling addiction where you don’t know what’s going to come up on the next slot spin,” Smith said. “It’s a lot cheaper than playing slots.”
Smith, who is a retired infantryman trained in sniper weapon deployment, said he knew the weapons were military-grade. He estimates that each piece weighed 20 pounds, and after doing some research, Smith estimates they are worth $20,000 and could have been there for up to a year because of their condition.
The guns were not loaded, according to Smith, and no ammunition was found.
The guns were covered in debris, so once they got home, Smith and Cadwalader cleaned them for 30 minutes to an hour to discover that the serial numbers had been removed.
The weapons were turned over to Miami-Dade Police and will be sent to the forensic lab for processing, if possible, depending on the condition of the weapons, Miami-Dade Police Detective Álvaro Zabaleta told WABNEWS. Prosecution must be completed to determine if the weapons were used in a crime.
Meanwhile, Miami Dade Police said they could not confirm information about the type of weapons, their status or their condition until they are processed by their forensic laboratory.