Felon in Possession of a Firearm Arrested During Distracted Driver Enforcement Detail in Escondido

Escondido, Calif. – On Friday, January 6, officers with the Escondido Police Department arrested a felon in possession of a firearm while conducting a distracted driver detail. Officers also issued 104 citations for distracted driving violations and other vehicle code violations that are leading causes of crashes.


Gerardo Antonio Sambrano, age 31, of Escondido faces 11 felony charges after an officer discovered a loaded firearm in a vehicle in which he was riding. He was booked into county jail.


Under current law, drivers are not allowed to hold a phone or electronic communications device while operating a vehicle. This includes talking, texting, or using an app. Using a handheld cell phone while driving is punishable by a fine. Violating the hands-free law for a second time within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense will result in a point being added to a driver’s record.


“A driver’s focus should be on the road, not their phone,” Escondido Chief of Police Ed Varso said. “That text, phone call, email or social media post is not worth the risk to yourself and other people on the road.”


If you have an important phone call or need to program directions, pull over to a safe parking spot. Before driving, either silence your phone or put it somewhere you can’t reach.


The Escondido Police Department will hold another distracted driving enforcement operation on February 10.


Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.