By Ashley Cox

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – U.S. District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington has sentenced Johnny Ordaz (32, Bradenton) to 12 years in federal prison for possession of fentanyl with the intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and for possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. The court also ordered Ordaz to forfeit two firearms, 121 rounds of ammunition, and $588 in cash, which are traceable to proceeds of the offenses.

A federal jury had found Ordaz guilty on July 8, 2021.

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According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, in September 2019, law enforcement officers stopped Ordaz’s car because he failed to stop at a stop sign and because the car’s window tint was illegally dark. During the traffic stop, officers discovered 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, as well as 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 magazine 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.

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Ordaz was previously convicted of multiple felony offenses, including possession of an unregistered short barrel shotgun, fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. As such he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.

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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 was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Charlie D. Connally.