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It what may well point to a serious addiction to guns and ammunition, 37-year-old Santa Paula resident Refugio Cortez today sits in the Ventura County Jail with his bail set at $110,000.
Cortez’s poor start to the New Year came as a result of the efforts of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department West County Special Enforcement Unit, which had been interested in his recent criminal history that, according to VCSD spokesman Sgt. Beau Rodriguez, involved various “misdemeanor narcotics violations” for which he had been arrested on November 25th. Circumstances surrounding that arrest involved VCSD deputies responding to a 911 caller reporting “shots fired” in a rural area outside the City of Santa Paula.
Just a month later, as detectives dug a little deeper into Cortez’s activities, they obtained and served a search warrant on Cortez’s residence. That warrant was served on the morning of December 28th and led to the discovery of “six handguns, six rifles, an AK-47 assault rifle” and “various types of ammunition and narcotics paraphernalia.” As Cortez is a “prohibited person” when it comes to having guns and drugs in his possession pursuant to a prior domestic violence episode, Cortez was arrested and taken into custody at the scene.
Cortez was transported to Ventura County Jail, where he was booked on charges of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, unlawful transfer of a firearm, possession of an assault rifle, illegal possession of ammunition, possession of a controlled substance with a firearm, and misdemeanor driving with a suspended license pursuant to a prior DUI conviction.