More busts of First Amendment employees

Sheriff’s deputies arrested two more people April 11 in connection with last month’s drugs and weapons bust out at the First Amendment Gentlemen’s Club. This time, the arrests were for felony child endangerment and drug possession.

By all accounts, the arrests were just the beginning of what the Sheriff’s Department has termed an “ongoing investigation.”

Sheriff’s Lt. Jerry Smith said that it appears that Daylyn Presley, a former First Amendment Gentlemen’s Club employee, was operating a prostitution ring under the cover of an adult escort service called Vanessa Andrews Studios. Presley wasn’t arrested, but items seized at last month’s bust at the First Amendment Club led police to his Patricia Drive home, which was searched April 11, Smith said.

Rachel Gonzalez, a 27-year-old former dancer at the club, was arrested at her Magnolia Drive home during the sweep. The Sheriff’s Department speculated that she might have worked for Vanessa Andrews Studios, but she wasn’t charged with any crime specific to the escort service. Instead, she was charged with felony child endangerment, as three children—ages 6 to 12—were found in the home, which police said contained drugs.

Antonio Gonzalez, 53, was also arrested at the Magnolia Drive home on felony charges of possession of a controlled substance and child endangerment. He was also booked for violating his parole.

Sheriff’s deputies also served search warrants April 11 on four other Chico homes in relation to he First Amendment Club bust, Smith said.

“We got a lot, I mean a lot, of stuff,” Smith said. “Records, papers, photographs and videos. There was a lot to get.”

For First Amendment Club owner George Mull, the latest arrests are just the most recent in a long line of headaches. The club, he said, has been the subject of harassment since almost the day it opened. Mull, a Sacramento attorney, is in the process of selling the club and partially blames his own absentee ownership for some of the club’s internal problems. Mull said he’s been to the club only three times in the past 12 months—and then only to show it to prospective buyers.

“It really needs someone who can be there every day making sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing,” Mull said. “I just wasn’t able to do that.”

Although he threatened a lawsuit against the county just after last month’s bust at the club—in which four employees were arrested on weapons and drug possession charges—he said April 15 that he’s since dropped those plans.

"I just want the new owners to be able to open without all that hanging over their heads," he said. "I just want it all to be over."