VENTURA COUNTY — One only needs to watch ten minutes of reportage on CNN, FOX News, or a local news-weather- traffic broadcast to quickly get the feeling that the rash of petty crime sweeping through the country are anything but petty once a miscreants raise the stakes by whipping out a gun and letting the world see just how “tough” they are.
While brandishing a firearm in a threatening manner is itself a crime worthy of police response, those who have a criminal record are in violation of the law by the mere possession of a gun or ammunition.
That legislated proscription appears to have been ignored in late June by four individuals—two of whom are on active parole—who were taken into custody on June 24 th by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Gang Unit. According to VCSD spokesman Sgt. Beau Rodriguez, Santa Paula residents Michael Alan Dryer, 30, Allen Matthew Dryer, 23, David Jesus Velazquez, 34, and 44-year-old Diana Katherine Marquez were arrested pursuant to an incident that took place in the late night hours at an El Rio neighborhood liquor store.
On the night of June 24 th , uniformed patrol deputies responded to a call for service at the liquor store regarding “a brandishing with a firearm.” With witness statements of a suspect vehicle in hand, deputies soon made a traffic stop and made contact with Michael Dryer.
He was taken into custody, and found to be in possession of ammunition and graffiti tools while driving on a suspended license. His arrest on the 24 th led Sheriff’s Gang Unit detectives to identify the other three aforementioned individuals as complicit in the liquor store incident.
On the afternoon of June 29 th , detectives conducted a parole and warrant search at the Valazquez residence and recovered the 9mm semi-automatic “ghost gun” used in the liquor store brandishing episode. At that point, Allen Matthew Dryer, Velazquez, and Marquez were all arrested and transported to Ventura County Jail where they were booked on multiple parole violation and felony firearm violations.
Photo: Courtesy VCSD Gang Unit