Authorities have made an arrest in connection with the theft of several government-owned assault rifles from a safe inside the Suffolk County home of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, a law enforcement source said.
The stolen M4 rifles were among those brought home in November by the agent -- an ICE firearms instructor who belonged to a specialized unit that tracks down potentially dangerous illegal immigrants slated for deportation, the source said.
The name of the person in custody was not released Wednesday.
It was not known if the weapons had been recovered.
An ICE spokesman said the agency's Office of Professional Responsibility and Suffolk County police are investigating the theft and had made an arrest. He did not release the agent's name.
An ICE employee was reassigned as investigators continue to look into the case, the spokesman said.
The agent had taken the semiautomatic rifles home from his Manhattan office and placed them in a combination-protected safe specially installed by the government in the house for its agents to store high-powered weapons, the source said.
Several of the rifles were stolen while the agent was out of town on ICE business, the source said.
Federal guidelines require ICE agents to return such weapons to their offices before traveling outside the metropolitan area, the source said.
The ICE spokesman did not say where the agent lives in Suffolk County.
Suffolk police declined to comment, saying they were not the lead agency on the case.