Photo: Image of weapons collected during arrest | Ventura County Sheriff’s Office
The Ventura County Probation Agency never seems to run out of things to do. According to their public charter, their administrative and field officers are “charged with the direct supervision of approximately 5,866 adult offenders and 390 juvenile defenders on probation.” That impressive workload is often made even more daunting when those under their supervision fail to abide by terms imposed by the courts.
One of the most frequently violated terms consistently involves the possession of firearms and ammunition, both proscribed statewide for anyone with a felony conviction. When a probationer is suspected of the illegal possession of weapons, ammo, or other contraband within their jurisdiction, that’s when deputies attached to the West County Special Enforcement Unit and the Narcotics Street Team is called into action.
That’s exactly what transpired on the evening of April 20th when detectives knocked on the front door at 29-year-old Ventura resident Ricky Merrill’s house to serve him with an arrest warrant and to conduct a probation search of the premises. According to VCSD spokesman Det. Sgt. Beau Rodriguez, Merrill—who had “multiple outstanding local misdemeanor warrants”—was taken into custody “without incident.”
During the ensuing probation search of the residence, detectives discovered “several illegal weapons, including an AR-15 ghost gun,” a 9mm pistol, a .22 rifle, and other illegal weapons and ammunition. Also found in the residence was 29-year-old Juan Aguilera.
Both men were arrested and transported to Ventura County Jail, where they were booked on multiple firearms and probation violations. Merrill’s bail was set at $55,000; Aguilera was released on his own recognizance.