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TMCNet:  Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy arrests 4 at Live Oak tire business

[February 01, 2013]

Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy arrests 4 at Live Oak tire business

LIVE OAK, Feb 02, 2013 (Santa Cruz Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputy arrested four people Thursday afternoon at a Soquel Avenue tire business that has been an ongoing problem for law enforcement.


A deputy conducted a probation search at Gondez Tires and Wheels at 2871 Soquel Ave. in Live Oak for owner Hector Quinones Velazquez, who has had numerous run-ins with law enforcement for drug and theft-related problems.

Velazquez, 43, was determined to be in violation of his probation and was arrested, deputy April Skalland said.

Velazquez is due in court Monday for arraignment on the latest probation violation. As of Friday, he was no longer in custody, jail records showed.

The deputy also arrested two residents of an apartment attached to the business. Samantha Caitlyn Curtis, 25, and Christopher Lee Desmet, 30, were arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance. A visitor, 55-year-old Joseph Neil Ventry of Santa Cruz, was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance and on a bench warrant for misdemeanor vandalism.

Velazquez previously was arrested at his business, where he also lives, in March on suspicion of violating his probation by being in possession of meth pipe and being under the influence of meth.

In August 2011, officers from the Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team received a tip that drugs were being sold out of Gondez Tires. In that incident, officers seized 35 grams of cocaine, 21 grams of methamphetamine, 9 grams of heroin and more than $2,000 in cash.

Velazquez was found in possession of a laptop computer that had been reported stolen a few weeks prior and drug paraphernalia.

According to court records, Velazquez pleaded no contest in October 2011 to a felony of possessing of stolen property and two misdemeanor drug charges, He was placed on three years of probation and ordered to serve 150 days in Santa Cruz County Jail. Two months later, Velazquez was arrested on suspicion of stealing tires from the Ocean Honda car dealership at 3801 Soquel Drive. A deputy found Velazquez loading seven tires worth roughly $250 each. It was not immediately known what the resolution of that case was.

Follow Sentinel reporter Jessica M. Pasko on Twitter at Twitter.com/jmpasko96 ___ (c)2013 the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) Visit the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) at www.santacruzsentinel.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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