Gang member arrested in South Lake Tahoe on gun, drug charges

Jose Medina
Jose Medina(The South Lake Tahoe Police Department)
Published: Oct. 30, 2023 at 1:58 PM PDT
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, California (KOLO) - A member of the gang Surenos has been arrested in South Lake Tahoe on gun and drug charges.

The arrest of Jose Medina came at the conclusion of a multi-year operation, called Operation Bear Trap, which targeted narcotics and illegal gun sales in the Tahoe Basin.

The operation involved the South Lake Tahoe Police Department, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, El Dorado District Attorney’s Office, FBI, Douglas County DA’s Office and the Carson City Sheriff’s Office.

It ended up uncovering members of the gang who were operating within the basin. Medina is now the third member of Sureno to be arrested in South Lake Tahoe. To date, Operation Bear Trap has arrested 76 people.

The two other known Surenos members arrested were Carlos Perez, who was arrested in October of 2021 on charges of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, and possession of child pornography. The other was Oscar Nunez, who was arrested in March of this year on drug and gun charges.

Police say Medina illegally sold narcotics, guns, and illegal parts to convert a semi-automatic gun into a fully automatic gun. Police issued a search warrant for Medina at his residence in the 2500 block of Chris Ave in South Lake Tahoe. Medina surrendered to officers on scene without incident.

Medina was on parole through El Dorado County for being a prohibited person possessing firearms and ammunition. A police search of the residence uncovered cocaine packaged for sale, an illegal short-barreled AR-15 style rifle, a Glock handgun with an illegal 30 round magazine, as well as parts to convert a semi-automatic gun into a full-automatic gun.

Medina is being held without bail at the El Dorado County Jail on these felonies:

  • Prohibited person in possession of a firearm
  • Prohibited person in possession of ammunition
  • Sales of cocaine
  • Sales of methamphetamine
  • Possession and transport of machine guns
  • Sales of machine guns