A spokesperson for the Camarillo Police Department say they have arrested a man believed to be the ringleader of a countywide identity theft ring. The suspect may also be connected to fraudulent business machinations and multiple forgeries.
The CPD said they received a tip that defendant Drew Dotts may have been connected to forgeries taking place in the latter part of 2012. The tipster also indicated Dotts was a convicted felon who was believed to be in possession of a fully automatic machine gun and other firearms. California law prohibits felons from owning guns.
Officers coordinated with other law enforcement agencies to execute a search warrant, but called off the execution based on his believed possession of firearms. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department then chose to involve the SWAT team as an added precaution. This was due to concern that Dotts would be armed and dangerous at the time he answered his door. Those suspicions proved to be accurate.
A SWAT spokesperson said numerous attempts to negotiate with the suspect proved fruitless. After multiple requests he comply with the execution of the search warrant failed, he complied after peering out his front window and seeing the numerous law enforcement agencies waiting outside.
Defendant Dotts eventually surrendered and was taken into custody. He was reportedly booked into the Ventura County jail and is being charged with identity theft, fraud, forgery and burglary. His bail has been set at $500,000. If Dotts wishes to be released from custody pending arraignment he will need to hire a bondsman in Camarillo. The cost to purchase a bond will be $50,000. A cosigner with good credit may be eligible for a payment plan. Dotts will not be eligible for no collateral bail bonds based on the high bail amount.