A 19-year-old man was behind bars Thursday after being arrested with two teens in Indio for allegedly possessing firearms and methamphetamine.

Fernando Guadalupe Meza of Indio was arrested Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of being in possession of methamphetamine for sales, possession of a short barrel rifle, possession of narcotics with a loaded firearm and being a gang member with a firearm, according to Sgt. Paul Heredia from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Two 17-year-old boys were also arrested on suspicion of being in possession of ammunition, Heredia said. One teen was additionally suspected of being a gang member with a firearm.

At around 3 p.m. Wednesday, the Coachella Valley Violent Crime Gang Task Force attempted to stop an SUV in the 43000 of Clinton Street, according to Heredia.

“The vehicle failed to stop before crashing into a tree a short distance away,” Heredia said. “The suspects fled the vehicle on foot and two of the suspects were apprehended by Gang Task Force Officers.”

During the pursuit, one of the fleeing suspects dropped a semi-automatic pistol with a 33-round extended magazine, according to Heredia. Gang Task Force officers connected a residence in the 43000 block of Clinton Street to one of the suspects and served a search warrant with the assistance of the department’s SWAT.

A short-barrel AR-15 style rifle with multiple 30-round magazines, a 1911 .45 caliber pistol, and methamphetamine were found by officers during the search, Heredia said.

According to inmate records, Meza was booked into the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio, where he was being held on $30,000. Heredia said the two teens were booked into Juvenile Hall.

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