One of three defendants in Grass Valley robbery takes plea |

One of three defendants in Grass Valley robbery takes plea

Anthony Richard Vicente
Submitted photo |

Two brothers in a year-old robbery case are still in custody, while their co-defendant pleaded guilty in December.

Joseph Daniel Sandoval, 31, and James Edwin Sandoval, 32, and Anthony Richard Vicente, 31, were accused of the robbery of the Hot Spot Smoke Shop in Grass Valley on Jan. 2, 2017. On that day robbers took cash and electronics from the store, authorities said.

According to manager Lucky Singh, the gunmen stepped inside wearing masks, their weapons drawn, and pointed their guns at him.

They reportedly stole hundreds of dollars, along with Singh’s laptop and cell phone, then fled. Police found a stolen van used by the robbers a few blocks away.

The Sandovals were arrested the next day after a lengthy car chase.

A detective spotted the suspects at a McKnight Way gas station; officers chased the men to Sacramento before taking them into custody. Authorities found Vicente about three weeks later.

The Sandovals were in Nevada County Superior Court Friday, and their attorneys confirmed they are still considering offers from the District Attorney’s office.

Vicente had been offered a plea agreement that would have netted him 15 years. On Dec. 15, he opted instead to plead guilty to charges of robbery, possession of a firearm and vehicle theft. He is set to be sentenced on Feb. 9.

Joseph Sandoval previously was offered a prison term of less than four years while James Sandoval was offered 12 years. On Friday, James’ attorney, Jennifer Granger, told Judge Candace Heidelberger she was still working on a potential plea deal and that the offer currently on the table for her client is 10 years and four months. The offer will remain open until the next court date for Sandovals, on Jan. 19.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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