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Press Release

Pueblo Man Sentenced to 12.5 Years in Federal Prison for Possessing Firearm and Distributing Drugs

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado

DENVER – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces Leonard Cordova, age 44, of Pueblo, has been sentenced to 151 months in federal prison after earlier pleading guilty to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition and two counts of distributing a controlled substance.

According to the plea agreement and criminal complaint, on September 12, 2021, the defendant, from his driveway in a residential neighborhood in Pueblo, fired numerous shots from a handgun at an individual driving down the street.  The defendant was arrested on local charges but then released on bond.  One week later, on September 19, 2021, the defendant, while driving his vehicle in Pueblo, fired shots at two individuals in another moving vehicle.  The defendant’s victims were hit with rounds from the defendant’s gun and sought treatment at a local hospital.  The defendant was again arrested on local charges but then released on bond.

The defendant was arrested by the FBI on April 15, 2022, after being charged in the District of Colorado by criminal complaint on April 13, 2022.  He was ordered detained pending trial.

The defendant pled guilty in federal court on March 7, 2023.  As part of his plea agreement, the defendant, a previously convicted felon, admitted to unlawfully possessing a firearm or ammunition in connection with the two September 2021 shootings.  He also admitted that on October 19, 2020, he distributed 221 grams of methamphetamine, and on February 19, 2021, he distributed 98 grams of heroin.

United States District Court Judge Regina M. Rodriguez sentenced the defendant on July 12, 2023.

“Pueblo is a safer place with violent, drug-dealing felons like Leonard Cordova off the streets,” said United States Attorney Cole Finegan.  “We are grateful for our partners at the FBI, DEA, and Pueblo Police Department whose hard work and dedication make a real difference for the citizens of Colorado.”

“Cases like this one exemplify what the federal system can bring to our local partners: This repeat offender will no longer threaten the Pueblo community,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Mark Michalek. “The FBI will continue to work with the Pueblo Police Department to further our shared goals.”

“The DEA Rocky Mountain Field Division is committed to making our communities safer.  We know gun violence is often associated with drug-related activity, which is why these cases are a top priority for us,” said DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge David Olesky. “The community of Pueblo should feel safer tonight knowing this defendant will no longer be a menace to his neighbors.”

This case was investigated by the FBI, DEA, and Pueblo Police Department.  The prosecution was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Andrea Surratt.  The U.S. Attorney’s Office also thanks the 10th Judicial District Attorney’s office for their assistance with the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

CASE NUMBER: 22-cr-132

Updated July 14, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses