Photo: Stock Image
March 1, 2023 – Ventura County, Ca.
The City of Thousand Oaks, nestled between sprawling San Fernando Valley to the East and more rural Simi Valley to the north, once the cliché for tranquil suburban living, appears to have become in recent years, the home of violent street gangs.
To confront this growing problem, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office mans the Thousand Oaks Special Enforcement and Directed Enforcement Units. According to VCSD spokesman Sgt. Dillan Alvarez, these divisions “take a zero tolerance stance against gang violence.”
Evidence of this strenuous law enforcement effort came on February 23rd when detectives, with a significant show of force, served a search warrant on the Thousand Oaks residences of 18-year-old Brian Herrera and 22-yhear-old Sabrina Luna. Those searches resulted in the seizures of “gang paraphernalia” related to a gang fight that erupted at the Thousand Oaks Shopping Center three weeks earlier, on February 3, 2023.
It was on that date that Luna and Herrera, accompanied by four juvenile associates, reportedly “encountered a group of five male juveniles who identify with a rival street gang” and proceed to “physically attack one of the rival juveniles.” While Luna was engaged in the attack, Herrera brandished a knife “concealed in the waistline of his pants” to prevent the other four from defending their cohort. After inflicting “serious bodily injury” upon their victim, Luna, Herrera, and the four juvenile suspects fled the scene.
All six suspects were contacted and taken into custody on February 23rd. Luna and Herrera were booked into Ventura County Jail, while the four juveniles were booked into Ventura County Juvenile Justice Center. Each of them was booked on charges of battery resulting in serious bodily injury, participation in a criminal street gang, and criminal conspiracy.
by Robert L. McCullough