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Posted on: May 22, 2019

Gang member arrested after weapons investigation ends in fiery chase

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South Lake Tahoe, CA- A high-speed chase ends in a fiery pursuit and lands a known gang member and white supremacist behind bars.

It started May 13, 2018, when Christopher Wadstein was arrested in connection with 17 firearms stolen from a car in a hotel parking lot. Most of those weapons were recovered but not all of them. Wadstein went to jail and got out on bond. Then police learned he took off from El Dorado County.

Over the past year, South Lake Tahoe PD detectives learned Wadstein was bouncing around between North Dakota, Sacramento, and Douglas County, Nevada.  Right now, he has outstanding warrants in Douglas County for assault with a deadly weapon, and in El Dorado County for theft and felon in possession of a firearm. 

On May 21, 2019, SLTPD Detectives got information from North Dakota investigators that 30-year-old Wadstein was in the Sacramento area to buy drugs and weapons to bring back to North Dakota. 

SLTPD, along with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, and the El Dorado County DA’s Office went to the Sacramento area to try to find him. They found Wadstein headed towards South Lake Tahoe on Highway 50 near the Ponderosa exit.  EDCSO tried to pull Wadstein over, but he took off and started driving into oncoming traffic.  Deputies ended the pursuit because it was just too dangerous.

Not too long after that, Wadstein was found heading back to Sacramento, this time by California Highway Patrol.  He led CHP on a high-speed pursuit along Highway 50. Sacramento County Sheriff’s helicopter and CHP’s fixed-wing aircraft helped track him. 

It all came to an end when Wadstein’s truck caught fire. He jumped from the moving vehicle took off into a river area in South Sacramento.  Wadstein was arrested with nearly a pound of methamphetamine on him. The Sacramento Metro Fire Department responded to the fire and could hear what is believed to be ammunition exploding as they put it out. 

Wadstein is a long time South Lake Tahoe resident with arrests dating back to his teenage years. His previous convictions range from drugs and vandalism to kidnapping and weapons charges. He is also believed to be a skinhead white supremacist prison gang member.

South Lake Tahoe Investigators will be processing Wadstein’s vehicle later today for weapons and drugs.  The South Lake Tahoe Police department would like to thank the El Dorado County DA”s office, The El Dorado County Sheriff’s office, The Sacramento County Sheriff’s office, Sacramento Police Department and the California Highway Patrol for assisting. 

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