Handgun possession and plot to arrest

At around 12:15 pm on July 2, the Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) conducted a traffic control for a vehicle violation at the intersection of Lincoln Blvd and Wilshire Blvd.

The officers contacted the occupants of a black 2012 Nissan Altima. Their investigation found that the driver, later identified as Joe Martinez, a 38-year-old man from Lennox, was on parole for gun and narcotics violations. The passenger, who was later identified as Tony D. McClendon, a 44-year-old man from Inglewood, initially submitted false ID. However, officials later discovered that he was on federal probation.

While searching their vehicle, officers found a loaded 9mm Beretta pistol, a backpack with a Halloween-themed mask, gloves, binoculars and black clothing. In addition, the officers found narcotics, narcotic paraphernalia, an arrow key, various mail, credit cards and ID cards in other people’s names.

Based on their investigation, officials believed both Martinez and McClendon were involved in criminal activities such as robbery and theft. They have been taken into custody and charged in the Santa Monica Police Department on the following charges:

Martinez – 11377 (A) H&S – possession of methamphetamine, 11364 (A) H&S – possession of paraphernalia, 182 (A) (1) PC – conspiracy to commit a crime

McClendon – 29800 (A) PC – Convicted felon in possession of a handgun, 25850 (C) (1) PC – Carrying a loaded gun in public, 529 (A) (3) PC – Wrong person,

25850 (C) (6) PC – Carry a loaded firearm, 530.5 (E) PC – Theft of mail, 18USC 1704 – Steal keys, suitable for use by the postal service. 21- 59737

Anyone with additional information about this incident or individuals are strongly encouraged to contact the Criminal Investigations Division at 310-458-8451 or the Santa Monica Department Guard Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8427.

Submitted by Lieutenant Rudy Flores

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