Felon Sentenced For Shooting Firearms On Public Land

Felon Sentenced To Prison For Shooting Firearms On Public Land

(STL.News) A felon who admitted to shooting two firearms on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property was sentenced today to eight years in prison.

Gustavo Arechiga, 46, of Henderson, Nevada, pleaded guilty in April 2021 to one count of felon in possession of a firearm. In addition to imprisonment, U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan sentenced Arechiga to two years of supervised release.

According to court documents, Arechiga and co-defendant Rafael Martinez went to a BLM property on April 22, 2019 to drink alcohol, smoke drugs, and shoot two firearms: (a) a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun, and (b) a .223/.556 caliber rifle with a 7.5 inch barrel. Two hikers were nearby when the firearms were discharged.

Arechiga and Martinez then left the area with the firearms in a vehicle driven by Arechiga. During a traffic stop, Arechiga lied to officers when asked whether he had any firearms in the vehicle. In addition to the two firearms that were discharged, law enforcement recovered 9mm, .40, and .556 ammunition in the vehicle, as well as firearm magazines.

Arechiga had been previously convicted of at least seven felonies, including convictions in Clark County for battery with use of a deadly weapon, robbery with use of a deadly weapon, and assault with a deadly weapon. Accordingly, federal law prohibits him from possessing firearms or ammunition.

Martinez pleaded guilty and was sentenced to time served in May 2020.

U.S. Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Patrick Gorman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the ATF. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Fang prosecuted the case.