Cheektowaga Man Arraigned on Felony Charges After Search Warrant Uncovers Illegal Guns

Modified: June 14, 2022 3:45pm

6/14/2022

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 22-year-old Steven I. Salerna-Sanchez, also known as “Gunsmith,” of Cheektowaga was arraigned this morning before Cheektowaga Town Court Justice James J. Speyer, Jr. on the following offenses:

  • Three counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (Class “C” violent felonies)
  • Two counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree (Class “A” misdemeanors)
  • One count of Possession of a Controlled Substance in Non-Original Container (violation)

It is alleged that on Monday, June 13, 2022, at approximately 8:30 a.m., members of the Erie County Sheriff’s Office and Buffalo Police Department SWAT Team executed a search warrant at the defendant’s apartment on Claudette Court in the Town of Cheektowaga. Investigators allegedly recovered three illegal, loaded guns. Investigators also allegedly found a small quantity of prescription narcotic pills, ammunition, body armor and kits to assemble “ghost guns.”

Salerna-Sanchez is scheduled to return on Friday, June 17, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. for a felony hearing. Bail was set at $200,000.00 cash, bond or partially secured bond.

If convicted of the highest charge, Salerna-Sanchez faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.

DA Flynn commends the Buffalo Police Department, Erie County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for their work in this investigation.

As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.