Four arrested on felony pandering charges

A total of six people were arrested following a series of eight search warrants served in Colusa and Sutter Counties on July 25 – four of them on suspicion of, pimping, pandering, conspiracy, and misdemeanor criminal street gang activity.

Among those arrested on suspicion of those charges were Adan Ayala Jr., 44, Eurik Manuel Rivas, 26, and Cathy Irene Mendoza, 38 – each of Yuba City – and Joseph Ethan Ayala, 26, of Colusa. Each was booked into Colusa County Jail on July 25 on $1 million bail.

Also arrested were Andrew “Andy” Garcia, 20, of Colusa, and Felicia Moore, 30, of Yuba City. According to the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office, Garcia is a convicted felon and was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. Garcia was booked into Colusa County Jail on $500,000 bail. Moore was arrested on suspicion of resisting or obstructing a police officer and was booked into Sutter County Jail. Her bail was set at $1,000.

The Colusa County Task Force coordinated the eight separate search warrants in Colusa County and Yuba City, with assistance from various other agencies in Colusa, Glenn, Sutter, and Yuba Counties. Three of the search warrants were served in the City of Colusa, within a few blocks of one another: one on the 900-block of Second Street, one on the 100-block of Sioc Street, and another on the first block of Sioc Street.

Joseph Ayala was arrested following the search of the house on the 900-block of Second Street, while Garcia was arrested at the residence on the 100-block of Sioc Street.

During the searches, law enforcement agents located and seized over 10 pounds of marijuana, prescription medication, ammunition, three firearms, and numerous electronic devices, according to a statement from the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office.

Colusa County Assistant Sheriff Jim Saso said in a text message on Monday that “the case is still being investigated and electronic evidence was being examined.”

Neither the Sheriff’s Office nor the Colusa County District Attorney’s Office would offer further details, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

DA files pimping, pandering charges; no human trafficking charges, gang enhancements at this time

The Colusa County District Attorney’s office filed charges against Rivas, Joseph and Adan Ayala, and Mendoza on Thursday. Each entered a not guilty plea at their arraignments that day, and are due back in court on August 30 for the setting of their preliminary hearings.

Each of the four were charged with pimping (California Penal Code Section 266(h)(2)), pandering by encouraging (California Penal Code Section 266(i)(2)), and two felony counts of conspiracy. Adan Ayala was also charged with possession for sale of a controlled substance.

Under California Penal Code Section 266(h)(2), “any person who, knowing a person is a prostitute, lives or derives support or maintenance in whole or in part from the earnings or proceeds of the person’s prostitution, or from money loaned or advanced to or charged against that person by any keeper or manager or inmate of a house or other place where prostitution is practiced or allowed, or who solicits or receives compensation for soliciting for the person, is guilty of pimping…” Pimping, a felony, is punishable by imprisonment in state prison for three, four, or six years.

Under California Penal Code Section 266(i)(2), pandering is defined as “promises, threats, violence, or by any device or scheme, (that) causes, induces, persuades, or encourages another person to become a prostitute.” Also a felony, the sentencing guidelines for pandering are also three, four, or six years.

As of Monday, the Colusa County District Attorney’s Office had not filed charges for human trafficking in any of the four cases, and was not pursuing gang enhancements.

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Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at brian@colusacountynews.net