4 local residents arrested for allegedly trafficking meth, heroin | TahoeDailyTribune.com

4 local residents arrested for allegedly trafficking meth, heroin

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Four local residents were arrested for drug trafficking in a joint operation that included several agencies, authorities announced on Thursday.

The Department of Justice said that during a coordinated law enforcement operation, Operation Bear Trap, on Thursday morning, agents and officers served three search warrants and arrested four suspects in South Lake Tahoe and Sacramento.

South Lake Tahoe residents Sarah Anderson, 32, Fabian Gomez, 33, Epifanio Ramirez, 47, and Joaleen Rogers, 53, were taken into custody for allegedly trafficking methamphetamine and heroin in and around the South Shore, U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert said.

The DOJ said the arrests were made as part of a continuation of Operation Bear Trap that began in 2020 to address the growing problem of methamphetamine distribution in South Lake Tahoe. 

Four additional defendants were charged last August with multiple drug and gun trafficking crimes as part of the same operation, the Tribune previously reported.

Over the course of the operation, law enforcement agencies have intercepted methamphetamine, heroin, and numerous firearms, including “ghost” pistols and assault rifles (firearms manufactured without serial numbers, making them harder for law enforcement to trace). 

Thursday’s searches also resulted in the recovery of a barn owl, which are a protected species under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

To date 36 individuals have been arrested in connection to Operational Bear Trap in California and Nevada on state and federal charges related to drug and firearms trafficking, said a press release.

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department, El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office, El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office all played parts in the operation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney James Conolly is prosecuting the case. 

DOJ said the effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach.

Additional information about the OCDETF program can be found at http://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.