THOUSAND OAKS : 3 Plead Guilty to Conspiracy Charge
Three men accused of plotting to shoot rival gang members pleaded guilty Monday in Ventura County Superior Court.
Eric Dryer, 18, of Santa Paula and Brian Gutierrez, 19, and Steven Savage, 18, of Ventura pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit assault with a firearm. Under the law, they could get as much as four years in prison, but Judge Lawrence Storch has committed to granting all of them probation. Under the law, probation can include up to a year in County Jail.
A fourth defendant, Jonathan Skoe, 19, of Santa Paula has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to be tried March 9.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Matthew J. Hardy said the four men are members of a Santa Paula gang called the Bad Boyz. On Oct. 6, Hardy said, they drove past a party in Thousand Oaks and some members of a rival gang threw bottles at Savage’s pickup truck.
The defendants drove to Ventura, armed themselves with three guns, removed the rear window from the pickup truck and took off the license plate to keep the truck from being identified, Hardy said. Then they returned to Thousand Oaks, apparently intending to retaliate for the bottle-throwing, the prosecutor said.
At Moorpark Road and Avenida de las Flores, a few blocks from the party, a sheriff’s car stopped the truck for a vehicle code violation, Hardy said. The deputies found the weapons and arrested the occupants. Two juveniles in the truck were not charged.
The three men will be sentenced Jan. 23.