Witness Intimidation Through Threats Earns Gang Member Arrest
Photo: Mario Gaona
Ventura County – Witness intimidation with threats can get you into trouble. Those prone to criminal activity would reasonably be careful in their non-criminal daily lives.
But that mistakenly presumes such people have an appreciation for “reasonable” in the first place. It certainly appears that 38-year-old Oxnard resident Mario Gaona, known to law enforcement agencies as an active member of a criminal street gang, doesn’t fit into that category.
Evidence of that came to light on July 10th. That is when CHP units responded to the scene of a hit and run traffic accident in the Saticoy area of Ventura County. According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Det. Jeff Jacobs, Gaona was arrested some time later away from the accident scene. They charged him with “driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of an accident.”
Because of his gang affiliation, Gaona’s arrest attracted the attention of the VCSD Gang Unit who then “conducted a follow-up investigation into the incident.” Detectives soon learned that immediately following the accident, Gaona attempted to prevent the victims from reporting the accident by threatening them and “stating he was a member of a criminal gang and would commit acts of violence against them.”
Detectives continued investigating the incident and on August 24th served a search warrant of Gaona’s residence. The fruits of that search led to Gaona’s arrest for street terrorism, criminal threats, and witness intimidation. He remains on a no-bail hold at Ventura County Jail.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail Booking