Drew Alan Dotts, 45, had long been the subject of an investigation throughout Ventura County, suspected of being connected to a series of forgeries, fraudulent business machinations, and identity thefts. With the Camarillo Detective Bureau first having inklings of Dott’s criminal activity pursuant to several reported forgeries dating back to October 2012, there were further indications that Mr. Dotts, a convicted and paroled felon, was possibly in possession of multiple firearms, including a fully automatic sub-machine gun.
While plans were being made to serve a search warrant issued on January 15th upon Mr. Dotts’ residence, collaborative strategies among various local area law enforcement agencies presented the conclusion that this may not be a garden-variety suspect contact. According to Ventura County Sheriff spokesman Sgt. Pete O’Sullivan, “due to the nature of the possible weapons involved” at the search warrant address, “Ventura County Sheriff’s SWAT team was requested to serve the warrant at this location.”
Official instincts as to the likelihood of Mr. Dotts opening the door to his home with open arms to welcome the appearance of law enforcement proved accurate, as the initial response by him was less than cordial. Dotts, in fact, refused to comply with arriving officers’ demands that he reveal himself and provide access to the residence. According to O’Sullivan’s report to the media, “SWAT negotiators attempted to contact Dotts numerous times prior to entry.” While Dotts’ reaction at first was to be a bit standoffish in rejecting official entreaties to gain access for purposes of the warrant search, the view through his living room window to the front yard—which was now populated by a show of force akin to a military operation—apparently gave him second thoughts about further resistance.
Dotts eventually opened the door to the house, surrendered, and was promptly taken into custody. For their part, VCSD deputies summarily searched the premises and located several “airsoft” guns, including one that appeared to be a replica Uzi sub-machine gun. Most importantly and incriminatingly, however, deputies also discovered “a large quantity of items used in the commission of identity theft and fraud,” O’Sullivan reported. Pursuant to those findings, Dotts was arrested for burglary, fraud, forgery, and identity theft and booked into Ventura County Jail, where he currently resides with bail set at $500,000.
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