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Press Release

Felon Accused of Drug and Gun Crimes Indicted by a Grand Jury

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

Salt Lake City, Utah – A felon and foreign national living in Utah was indicted by a federal grand jury in Salt Lake City today for federal drug and gun crimes.  

According to court documents, Rafael Maldonado-Solario, 46, of Salt Lake City, was under investigation by agents for allegedly distributing fentanyl in the Salt Lake Valley. On May 9, 2024, agents seized 2,290 grams of blue pills stamped M30 at Maldonado-Solario’s apartment in Salt Lake City. The pills were field tested and confirmed to contain fentanyl. Law enforcement also seized a Taurus CCP .380 handgun inside Maldonado’s apartment. As a previously convicted felon, Maldonado-Solario is restricted from possessing a firearm. 

Maldonado-Solario is charged with possession of a firearm as a previously convicted felon, possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, and illegal reentry of a previously removed alien. His initial court appearance on the indictment is scheduled for May 23, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. in courtroom 8.4 before a U.S. Magistrate Judge at the United States District Courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City. 

U.S. Attorney, Trina A. Higgins, of the District of Utah made the announcement.

The case is being investigated jointly by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Utah State Bureau of Investigations (SBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Enforcement and Removal Operations (ICE ERO). 

Assistant United States Attorney Cameron P. Warner of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah is prosecuting 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.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 


Felicia Martinez
Public Affairs Specialist
(801) 325-3237
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Updated May 22, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 24-58