Two sentenced in Grass Valley smoke shop robbery | TheUnion.com

Two sentenced in Grass Valley smoke shop robbery

Two of the three co-defendants in the 2017 robbery of the Hot Spot Smoke Shop were sentenced Friday in Nevada County Superior Court.

Joseph Daniel Sandoval, 32, had pleaded no contest to charges of unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle and evading an officer. He pleaded no contest to grand theft of a firearm in an unrelated case. His plea deal called for a three-year, four-month sentence.

His brother, James Edwin Sandoval, 34, had pleaded no contest to second-degree robbery and two counts of unlawful driving or taking of a vehicle. He also admitted to a special allegation of using a firearm. He was sentenced in February to 10 years and eight months in prison.

The third man in the case — 32-year-old Anthony Richard Vicente, also known as Anthony Martell — pleaded guilty in December to robbery, possession of a firearm and two counts of vehicle theft.

Nevada County Deputy District Attorney Jesse Wilson noted there was no plea agreement and that Vicente had prior strike offenses. The probation department recommended a 27-year prison sentence. According to Wilson, Vicente previously had rejected an offer for 15 years and asked Judge Candace Heidelberger to sentence him to at least that long a term.

Heidelberger noted statements from several people in support of Vicente, who reportedly is working on turning his life around. While she acknowledged the "significant change" in his behavior, she added, "It's unfortunate that it took so long."

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She sentenced him to 18 years, and told him she hoped he would continue his rehabilitation in prison.

Authorities had accused all three men of robbing the smoke shop at gunpoint of cash and electronics on Jan. 2, 2017. An officer saw them the following day, leading to a police chase that ended in Sacramento. They arrested both Sandovals that day, and found Vicente weeks later.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.