Tampa, Florida – A federal jury has found Johnny Ordaz (32, Bradenton) guilty of possession of fentanyl with the intent to distribute it, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. Ordaz faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison for the fentanyl offense, a consecutive mandatory minimum of 5 years, and up to life in prison, for possessing the firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for possessing the firearm as a felon. His sentencing hearing is set for September 30, 2021.
Ordaz had been indicted on February 13, 2020.
According to testimony presented at trial, in September 2019, law enforcement officers conducted a traffic stop of a car that Ordaz was driving. During the traffic stop, the officers recovered a firearm with an extended magazine, loaded with 31 rounds of ammunition, wedged between the driver’s seat and the center console. They also seized a bag containing fentanyl from the driver’s side door handle, and a digital scale, and small clear plastic baggies. The officers also found a bag in the passenger seat that contained another firearm with an extended clip, loaded with 27 rounds of ammunition, 63 rounds of additional ammunition, another digital scale, sandwich bags, and more small clear plastic baggies. They also recovered $588 from Ordaz’s front pocket.
This case was investigated by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charlie D. Connally.
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.