Co-owner of Utah Gun Exchange charged with weapons violations; possession of large amount of marijuana, cash

SANDY, Utah -- The co-owner of the Utah Gun Exchange is accused of being in possession of weapons, a large amount of marijuana and cash, after authorities served a search warrant at his Sandy home.

Bryan Alan Melchior, a co-owner of the gun exchange, was charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and multiple firearm charges, documents filed in Utah's 3rd District Court stated.

Melchior made headlines nationwide after the Utah Gun Exchange followed Parkland, Florida students who survived a deadly school shooting in 2018, taking the company’s military-style armored vehicle on the road, holding counter-rallies.

Court documents state that on November 13, 2018, investigators in Sandy searched Melchior's residence after serving a search warrant, and located "30 firearms, more than a pound of marijuana, numerous THC products and $36,247 in cash."

The search warrant was served during an ongoing investigation into narcotics distribution, court documents stated.

During the search of the residence, documents said that investigators found guns, gun suppressors, pieces of silver including coins and bars in "numerous safes," and safes that contained marijuana.

Investigators found "multiple types of THC edibles, e-cigarette cartridges, THC syrups, packages of marijuana, hemp wraps, DABS, nectar sicks in boxes, and pills," the documents said.

Melchior was charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, a third-degree felony, and five counts of purchase, transfer, possess or use of a firearm by a restricted person, all third-degree felonies.

He is scheduled to make his initial appearance in court on Feb. 15, documents said.

The Utah Gun Exchange released the following statement to their Facebook page:

"UtahGunExchange.com has been notified that Bryan Melchior, co-owner of Utah Gun Exchange, was charged on Thursday in 3rd District Court with drug distribution plus five counts of purchase, transfer, possession or use of a firearm by a restricted person, all third-degree felonies. In response, UtahGunExchange.com would like to release the following statement:

UtahGunExchange.com is an organization that is dedicated to supporting and protecting our Constitution and the inalienable rights upon which it is predicated. In this honorable course, we have continually urged all parties to support, uphold, and sustain the law. We reaffirm that commitment today – we have and will continue to support law enforcement, the Constitutional rights to a fair trial, and every article and amendment of our Constitution, including the second amendment.

In support of that commitment, we would also like to remind all parties and media organizations that these charges have been brought against an individual in UGE’s organization, not against UGE. UGE is currently reviewing these allegations and charges internally to determine the most appropriate course for the organization moving forward to ensure it accomplishes its mission. Once we have completed our review and selected the most appropriate action, we will release more information on our selected course.

To our beloved UGE community, we would simply say that we are grateful for your past and present support and that we understand if these issues have caused concern. We hold ourselves to a high standard in serving you, and this standard requires care and trust that may have been affected profoundly by these issues.

As you consider your concerns, we would ask for you to also consider the premise that our cause is greater than any one person. Our results depend upon all people who share a united love for our country, our Constitution, and our freedom. Our strength is in our unity and organization around that cause, and it is to that cause that UGE has been and will continue to be dedicated to moving forward.

As always, we humbly thank you very much for your time, your consideration, and your support."