Three men from Salt Lake County are facing felony charges in 3rd District Court after they were arrested firing stolen firearms on Stansbury Island earlier this month.
Steven Lee Sanchez, 22, of Magna; Carlos Anthony Moreno, 20, of Taylorsville, and Mateo Valentin Gatton-Martinez, 22, West Valley City, are each charged with two counts of second-degree felony theft by receiving stolen property, as well as misdemeanor counts of possession or use of a controlled substance and use or possession of drug paraphernalia.
Sanchez is also charged with second-degree felony possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person; Moreno and Gatton-Martinez face the same charge as a third-degree felony.
A Tooele County Sheriff’s deputy was called to assist a federal Bureau of Land Management agent who made a stop on a suspicious vehicle on the west side of Stansbury Island around 4:15 p.m. on Feb. 11, according to a probable cause statement.
The BLM agent had observed three male subjects, later identified as Moreno, Sanchez and Gatton-Martinez, shooting firearms, the statement said. They were accompanied by a woman and her 4-year-old child.
Through the investigation during the stop, the sheriff’s deputy and BLM agent learned Sanchez was on probation for felony and misdemeanor violations and was a convicted felon, according to the probable cause statement.
During a search of the vehicle, law enforcement officers found six firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun and two handguns listed as stolen on the National Crime Information Center database, the statement said. Personal amounts of marijuana, and the odor of burned marijuana was detected inside the vehicle.
A witness told deputies they observed all three of the men smoking marijuana while shooting the firearms, the probable cause statement said.
Sanchez was assigned $50,000 bail and appointed a public defender during an initial appearance in court on Wednesday. Gatton-Martinez and Moreno posted bail and were appointed public defenders.