Staff Report

Animal Rescue Team, INC., executive director Julia Di Sieno was arrested by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department for allegedly defying a court oder to turn over her weapons on Monday, Feb 5.

Julia DiSieno booking photo 
Photo contributed

Di Sieno was arrested without incident for violating the court order, possessing firearms although she had been prohibited from having them as part of the court order, and possessing a baton, according to Kelly Hoover, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Department.

In December 2017, Di Sieno was charged by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office with the Penal Code Violations of 422 – Criminal Threats & PC 646.9 – Stalking with the alleged victims identified as neighbors Mary and Richard Nohr. As a result, Di Sieno was issued a Criminal Protective Order pursuant to PC 136.2, which was served on Dec. 22, according to the Sheriff’s press release.

Di Sieno was ordered to surrender all firearms and ammunition within 24 hours after being served with the Criminal Protective Order, and she had 48 hours to file a receipts to the court showing she surrendered all firearm and ammunition belonging to her.

Sheriff’s deputies assigned to the Santa Ynez Valley, responded for a report of Criminal Protective Order violation on Feb. 2, allegedly perpetrated by Di Sieno towards the Nohr’s. Based on the deputies investigation, Di Sieno was in fact believed to have violated the Protection Order and the case was ultimately forwarded to the District Attorney requesting criminal charges be brought against Di Sieno, the press release stated.

Detectives with the Santa Barbara County Special Investigations Bureau (SBCSIB) began conducting their investigation and it was learned  Di Sieno had not surrendered her registered firearms / ammunition which was ordered by the court, therefore a search warrant granted based on the probable cause that Di Sieno was in violation of the Criminal Protective Order.

Detectives with the SBCSIB found numerous firearms were located along with a copious amount of ammunition of various calibers throughout Di Sieno’s residence, according to the press release.

As a result, Di Sieno was arrested based on the Penal Code violations and booked into the Santa Barbara County Main Jail.

Animal Rescue Team has been subject to controversy lately as their permit to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife was severely restricted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in September of last year, according to a Noozhawk article on Sept. 27.

The operation run in the 800 block of Carriage Drive in Solvang was restricted to care for birds, rabbits, raccoons, opossums and squirrels.

This story is still developing, check back for details.