Man arrested for loaded weapons, drugs in Tahoe City

Placer County Sheriff’s Office deputies discovered loaded weapons, high-capacity magazines, and hundreds of pills inside the vehicle of Thomas Alexander.
Courtesy Placer County Sheriff’s Office

TAHOE CITY, Calif. — A Virginia man was arrested on Friday, May 19, after a citizen noticed him openly carrying a firearm on his hip in the Cobblestone Center in Tahoe City.

Thomas Alexander, 42, of Virginia, was later pulled over in his vehicle at the end of Sierra Terrace Road, where Placer County Sheriff’s Office deputies found a loaded handgun holstered on his hip.

A subsequent search of Alexander’s vehicle revealed two more loaded handguns in the driver’s door pocket. Officers also found what Placer County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Mike Powers called an “AR-15 type rifle,” along with four, loaded high-capacity magazines in the trunk.

Officers also found several plastic bags containing hundreds of pills along with an assortment of prescription bottles. Powers said he couldn’t comment on the type of pills discovered but said investigators found no indication Alexander had intent to distribute the medication.

Alexander was charged with carrying a loaded firearm in a public place, illegal possession of an assault weapon, transporting an assault weapon across state lines, possession of controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, and carrying a loaded firearm with the intent to commit a felony.

As the investigation progressed, it was revealed Alexander had been inquiring about a particular movie showing and time at the Tahoe Art Haus & Cinema.

Powers said the sheriff’s office investigated the possibility of a planned attack, and found no evidence Alexander, who had been traveling through California on his way to Oregon, was planning anything nefarious.

“Our investigation revealed that there was no evidence he was intending to do that,” said Powers. “Initially, we thought there could have been. That’s something we take seriously and we spent a lot of time looking into it.”

Powers said Alexander later posted bail.

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