Firefighter felon pleads not guilty to packing illicit heat at Pacifica gun cache 

click to enlarge John Fotinos pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 18 felony counts related to the weapons cache, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • John Fotinos pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 18 felony counts related to the weapons cache, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

This ex-firefighter might be totally hosed.

Still being haunted by a bitter divorce and child custody battle that started last year, the disgraced former firefighter was arrested June 14 after San Mateo County sheriff’s deputies allegedly found 16 firearms and 10,000 rounds of ammo stashed in his storage unit in Pacifica.

John Fotinos pleaded not guilty Wednesday to 18 felony counts related to the weapons cache, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. Fotinos, who worked for the Newark Fire Department, is not allowed to own firearms due to a 2007 felony conviction for selling off a colleague’s personal truck and keeping the cash.

Fotinos has not told authorities why he had all the weapons, which included two assault rifles, Wagstaffe said.

“One can be a gun collector, but 10,000 rounds of ammunition?” the district attorney said Thursday. “All I know is, I don’t want him as my next-door neighbor.”

The Sheriff’s Office was tipped off to the weapons, Wagstaffe said. They searched both Fotinos’ Half Moon Bay home and his unit at Lighthouse Point Self Storage.

Meanwhile, Fotinos still faces unrelated charges connected to heated divorce proceedings last year in which he allegedly lied about his income in court-related documents.

Also haunting him is the 2007 conviction. After telling a fellow firefighter that he would sell his truck for him, Wagstaffe said, Fotinos instead kept the more than $7,000 earned from the transaction. He told his co-worker that he had not sold the vehicle, then later claimed the truck had “disintegrated” on the coast.

In that case, he pleaded no contest to felony grand theft and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and three years of probation, Wagstaffe said.

Fotinos remains in custody on $320,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court again next week, Wagstaffe said, when his attorney plans to argue for reduced bail.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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Monday, Oct 20, 2014

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