Sonoma man arrested on BB gun, controlled substances charges

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A 24-year-old Sonoma man was arrested Friday afternoon after deputies from the Sonoma Valley substation of the Sheriff’s Department got a call about a man with a gun in the area of Highway 12 and Verano Avenue.

Deputies located a subject matching the description provided by a witness in the Vineyard Shopping Center, though the subject was unarmed. The subject was detained without incident, but when deputies conducted a search of the area they found several suspicious articles in a nearby garbage can – a BB gun, a small baggie of methamphetamine, foil with burn marks like those used to smoke controlled substances and a red demon-face mask.

The suspect admitted to possessing the BB gun, which he said he intended to use for target practice, but denied ownership of the other objects.

He was later examined and found to be under the influence of a controlled substance.

Drue A. Ballenger, 24, of Sonoma was arrested and booked into the Sonoma County Jail for unlawful display of an imitation firearm in public, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, being under the influence and violation of probation.

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