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Press Release

Dalton gang member sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for possessing pistol and short-barreled shotgun

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

ATLANTA - Florencio Rodriguez, a member of the Sureños 13 gang and multi-convicted felon, has been sentenced to consecutive, maximum terms of imprisonment for unlawfully possessing firearms, including a sawed-off shotgun with an obliterated serial number.

“Gang members are relentless in their attempts to prey upon vulnerable communities in this district, including in North Georgia,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “We will continue to work with our state, local, and federal law enforcement partners to target gang members and other violent criminals who endanger the public.”

“It appears the only way to stop Rodriguez from terrorizing our communities is to keep him off the streets, and this sentence will do that for a long time,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners are dedicated to dismantling these violent criminal enterprises to make our communities safer places to live.”

“The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is committed to the reduction of violent crime in our communities,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Arthur Peralta.  “Our law enforcement partnerships allow us to focus investigative resources on those individuals who pose the most danger.  As a result, violent criminals receive the maximum sentence.”    

"I am very pleased to see that the efforts of Dalton Police Department and our federal law enforcement partners has resulted in the successful prosecution of a local member of the Sur 13 street gang. Our community will be safer without this repeat offender being on the streets. This case is a great example of what can be accomplished when local, state, and federal law enforcement work together to target gang members and violent offenders,” said Dalton Police Chief Cliff Cason.

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: On July 11, 2019, police officers in Dalton, Georgia, approached Rodriguez, a member of the Sureños 13 gang, to arrest him on a pending probation warrant.  Rodriguez ran from the officers when they ordered him to stop. Officers apprehended him when he fell during the chase. The officers found a .22 caliber pistol underneath Rodriguez and recovered approximately one ounce of methamphetamine from him. 

At the time of his arrest, Rodriguez wore a blue bandana around his ankle, an article of clothing that gang members use to demonstrate their affiliation with the Sureños 13 gang. He also had been convicted of numerous felonies in North Georgia, including attempted robbery, street gang activity, and terroristic threats.  Following his arrest, investigators seized a sawed-off shotgun and shotgun shells from a bedroom that Rodriguez shared with his girlfriend.  The serial number on the sawed-off shotgun had been removed. 

Florencio Rodriguez, also known as “Cheeto,” 29, of Dalton, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steven D. Grimberg to 15 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Dalton Police Department investigated the case with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore S. Hertzberg prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). In keeping with the Attorney General’s mission to reduce violent crime, the Northern District of Georgia’s PSN program focuses on prosecuting those individuals who most significantly drive violence in our communities, and supports and fosters partnerships between law enforcement and schools, the faith community, and local community leaders to prevent and deter future criminal conduct.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is

Updated March 13, 2020

Firearms Offenses