FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment today against Morgan Wency Ventura Sanchez, 23, of Fresno, charging him with possessing fentanyl, LSD, cocaine, and heroin with intent to distribute the controlled substances and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, on Aug. 24, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Ventura Sanchez’s residence and car. Over 300 fentanyl pills were in the car and approximately 280 more fentanyl pills were found in the house. In addition, agents found 158 grams of cocaine, 23 grams of heroin, LSD stamps, several kilograms of marijuana, multiple digital scales with suspected drug residue on them, $41,433 in cash, and a loaded Beretta 92 FS, 9 mm pistol. Messages recovered from Ventura Sanchez’s cellphone contained evidence that he was distributing controlled substances.
This case is the product of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin J. Gilio is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Ventura Sanchez faces a five-year mandatory minimum sentence, a five-year consecutive mandatory minimum sentence (for a total 10-year mandatory minimum sentence), a maximum penalty of life in prison, and up to a $5 million fine. 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.