The man arrested last night after leading officers on a high-speed chase is believed to be a white supremacist prison gang member, officials say.
Christopher Wadstein, 30, was arrested Tuesday evening after a pursuit that involved six regional law enforcement agencies, according to a press release from the South Lake Tahoe Police Department.
Wadstein was arrested a year ago in connection with 17 firearms stolen from a car in a hotel parking lot, according to the press release. Most, but not all, of those weapons were recovered, the press release said.
When Wadstein was released on bond after that arrest, he left El Dorado County and began traveling between North Dakota, Sacramento and Douglas County, Nevada, the release said.
Wadstein was wanted on an outstanding warrant in Douglas County for assault with a deadly weapon and others in El Dorado County for theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm, the press release said.
South Lake Tahoe detectives learned Tuesday that Wadstein was in Sacramento to buy drugs and weapons to bring back to North Dakota and tried to find him, according to the press release.
They tracked Wadstein to Highway 50 near the Ponderosa Road exit in Shingles Springs, and he fled, driving into oncoming traffic, causing several collisions. El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies ended their pursuit when it became too dangerous, the release said.
Then, the California Highway Patrol spotted Wadstein heading back to Sacramento. He led officers on a high-speed pursuit on Highway 50, with officials tracking him in the Sacramento County sheriff’s helicopter and CHP aircraft.
Wadstein’s truck caught fire in South Sacramento. He fled the vehicle, but officers arrested him. Officers found nearly a pound of methamphetamine on him, the release said.
Officials have not searched the vehicle, according to South Lake Tahoe police spokesman Lt. Shannon Laney, but the car contained ammunition that went off while the fire burned.
Police suspect Wadstein of white supremacist gang activity from previous contacts will officers as well as from his tattoos, Laney said.