Crime

Woman, 3 men charged with stealing cellphones at gunpoint during Kennewick robbery

Angel J. Martinez, 32, was arrested March 3 at a Kennewick home after a standoff with Tri-City law enforcement and the regional SWAT team. He is one of four people accused of stealing cellphones at gunpoint from two women during a Feb. 19 robbery.
Angel J. Martinez, 32, was arrested March 3 at a Kennewick home after a standoff with Tri-City law enforcement and the regional SWAT team. He is one of four people accused of stealing cellphones at gunpoint from two women during a Feb. 19 robbery. Tri-City Herald

Trial dates are set this spring for three people charged with stealing cellphones at gunpoint, while a fourth suspect’s case is postponed as he tries to hire a lawyer.

Victor M. Garcia, 22, Artemisa Sanchez, 25, and Ramiro E. Sanchez, 21, each have pleaded innocent in Benton County Superior Court to two counts of first-degree robbery.

Angel J. Martinez, 32, appeared Monday on the same charges and had his arraignment delayed to March 16.

No charges have been filed against the three men for a shooting that took place shortly after the Kennewick robbery, while Artemisa Sanchez was with the victims inside a South Dayton Place home, according to court records.

Kennewick police said in a news release that the Feb. 19 shooting was related to the robbery.

Artemisa Sanchez reportedly rents the lower level of the home from Erin Bass. Suspecting her landlord of stealing her methamphetamine, Sanchez allegedly assaulted Bass earlier that day while the victim was holding a 1-year-old child, court documents said.

Sanchez left and returned at about 8 p.m. with Garcia, Martinez and Ramiro Sanchez, and the four forced Bass, her two children and a friend into a bedroom, documents said.

Martinez allegedly was armed with a double-barreled shotgun with no stock and short barrels, and Garcia and Ramiro Sanchez both had pistols.

The two women gave the suspects their cellphones as ordered, court documents said.

Garcia, Martinez and Ramiro Sanchez then left the house in search of a man across the street, documents said. Artemisa Sanchez stayed behind with the women and children.

A short time later, the victims reported hearing gunshots outside and Artemisa Sanchez immediately left the home.

Emergency dispatchers received multiple calls at 10:12 p.m. for reports of shots fired in the area. A neighbor also reported seeing a vehicle leave with no headlights on, court documents said.

The suspects were gone by the time police arrived, but officers did find multiple shell casings in the neighborhood, documents said.

The suspects were later identified through photos.

Police and jail records inaccurately show Sanchez’s first name as “Romero.”

Martinez was arrested March 3 following a standoff with Tri-City law enforcement and the regional SWAT team at an East Fourth Avenue home in Kennewick. Ramiro Sanchez was arrested by SWAT members that same day as he left a Richland home in a vehicle.

Garcia and Artemisa Sanchez now have April 17 trial dates. Ramiro Sanchez’s is set for May 1.

Bail is set at $100,000 each for Martinez and the two Sanchezes. Garcia’s bail is $200,000.

Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531, @KristinMKraemer

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