AUBURN — A man reported to be brandishing a firearm Wednesday on Center Street was arrested on drug and weapons charges.

Gabriel Sanchez Auburn Police Department

Police said 40-year-old Gabriel Sanchez, last known to be living in Lewiston, had approached another person while displaying a gun that was tucked into his waistband at 21 Center St. Wednesday night.

Police investigating the incident searched a nearby homeless encampment where they found Sanchez, according to a press release.

“The officers’ investigation provided probable cause that Sanchez still had the firearm in his tent,” according to the report. “A search warrant was drafted and executed. Located during the search was a Canik .9-mm handgun, with approximately five grams of fentanyl powder and other narcotic equipment.”

Sanchez was charged with unlawful drug possession as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was being held at the Androscoggin County Jail on $2,000 cash bail.

Police said Sanchez was prohibited from carrying a weapon due to a 2022 conviction for illegal possession of a firearm. In that case, he was sentenced to serve 15 months in prison.

In January of 2020, Sanchez was one of seven people arrested by Lewiston police who were investigating a shooting that left one man with a leg injury. Sanchez was not charged directly with the shooting in that round up, but was arrested on a warrant for failure to pay fines and a single count of violating conditions of release.

He has a criminal history in the Lewiston area dating back to 2013.

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