Federal Drug and Gun Charges Brought Against Fresno Man
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California
FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment today against Antonio Sorondo Jr., 49, of Fresno, charging him with conspiring to traffic fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine, illegally possessing firearms, and possessing fentanyl with intent to distribute it, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, in January and February 2022, Sorondo conspired with others to possess and distribute fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine. On Feb. 1, 2022, when law enforcement officers tried to contact Sorondo, he fled and tossed a firearm over a chain-link fence. The officers apprehended Sorondo and then recovered the abandoned, loaded firearm. Two weeks later, a police officer arrested Sorondo in possession of another two firearms and about 100 counterfeit oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl. Sorondo is prohibited from possessing firearms because of his prior felony convictions. Sorondo is currently in custody awaiting trial on these charges.
This case is the product of an investigation by FORT, a multi-agency team composed of Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin J. Gilio and Laurel J. Montoya are prosecuting the case.
If convicted of the drug offenses, Sorondo faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. If convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm or ammunition, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.) a program designed to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high impact areas as well as identifying wholesale distribution networks and international and domestic suppliers. In July 2018, the Justice Department announced the creation of S.O.S., which is being implemented in the Eastern District of California and nine other federal districts.
This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
Updated May 26, 2022
Project Safe Neighborhoods