CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — A man found in possession of several weapons and illegal contraband was arraigned in Cheektowaga Town Court on Tuesday. According to the Erie County DA’s office, the guns and contraband were found during the execution of a search warrant by the Erie County Sheriff’s office and BPD SWAT around 8:30 a.m. Monday morning.
Steven Salerna-Sanchez, 22, was reportedly found in possession of three illegal, loaded guns, including an AR-15, in addition to high-level body armor, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and ghost gun kits, as well as prescription drugs and cash, in his Claudette Court residence.
Salerna-Sanchez, who also goes by the nickname “Gunsmith,” is accused of purchasing the ghost gun kits online and selling ghost guns across Western New York. He is scheduled to return to court on Friday for a felony hearing and is being held on $200,000 bail.
He has been charged with three counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, a Class C violent felony, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, a Class A misdemeanor, and one count of possession of a controlled substance in non-original container, a violation.
If convicted of the highest charge, Salerna-Sanchez faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Buffalo Mayor Buffalo Byron Brown announced Salerna-Sanchez’s arrest and the gun seizure in the Town of Cheektowaga after a search warrant was conducted on Monday.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia explained in a press conference Monday that it takes approximately 30 minutes to assemble the kits and make them into an operational firearm before selling them in the community, which furthers gun violence.
“It is a chilling reminder that we as a community, and as a country, have a long way to go as it relates to gun safety and being safe from illegal weapons that are on our streets,” Brown said in the press conference, which can be viewed above in full.