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March 3, 2021

Year in Review 2020: Court dates in January for Gilroy suspects

Alan Viarengo, Darren Dorrell subject of lengthy investigations in 2020

Two high-profile Gilroy crime cases from 2020 will continue with court hearings in January.

Gilroy resident Alan Viarengo, who is accused of repeatedly threatening Santa Clara County’s public health officer over Covid-19 policies, will next appear in court on Jan. 20 for a trial setting.

Darren Dorrell, a Gilroy resident who was arrested in October for being in possession of destructive devices, remains in custody.

Viarengo, 55, was arrested by Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies at his home on Hanna Street on Aug. 27. He is charged with felony counts of stalking by repeated following or malicious harassing and threatening a public employee.

Viarengo is also suspected of being tied to the anti-government extremist movement known as “Boogaloo,” according to investigators. The FBI has classified the Boogaloo movement as a domestic terrorist organization.

When sheriff’s deputies served a warrant at Viarengo’s northwest Gilroy home on Aug. 27, following a lengthy investigation, they found 138 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition and explosive materials, according to the sheriff’s office.

He had worked as a part-time math instructor at Gavilan College since 2001.

According to Santa Clara County Superior Court records, Viarengo pled not guilty during his arraignment on Nov. 16. His bail was set at $200,000 on Nov. 5, and he was released under supervision. He is also prohibited from possessing firearms.

Court hearings continue for explosion suspect

Dorrell, who was arrested on Oct. 23, remains in jail on $1 million bail, according to county records.

Dorrell, 53, was arrested after he was released from the hospital for treatment of serious injuries to his right hand, according to Gilroy Police.

The Gilroy Fire Department responded to an explosion on the 1700 block of Mantelli Drive on Oct. 12. First responders on scene transported Dorrell to a local trauma center.

Investigators found a homemade explosives lab and “multiple” improvised devices during a search of the Mantelli Drive home, police said.

Dorrell was booked into Santa Clara County jail on six counts of possession of a destructive device, possession of materials with intent to make a destructive device, and possession of a destructive device in or near any private habitation.

According to court records, he is scheduled for his first appearance in mental health treatment court on Jan. 12, with a felony advanced resolution hearing on Jan. 14.

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