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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Federal Jury Convicts Dallas Man of November 2015 Armed Assault on Federal Officers

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Federal Jury Convicts Dallas Man of November 2015 Armed Assault on Federal Officers

DALLAS — Following a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay, yesterday a federal jury convicted Victor Manuel Solorzano, 32, of Dallas, of five counts stemming from the November 19, 2015 armed assault of two federal law enforcement officers in southwest Dallas, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Specifically, Victor Solorzano was convicted of one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, two counts of assault of a federal officer, and two counts of using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The methamphetamine distribution count and the assault counts carry a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison each. The firearm offenses is punishable by not less than thirty-five years and up to life. These sentences must run consecutive to any sentences for the drug and assault offenses. Sentencing is set for August 21, 2016.
“These convictions clearly demonstrate that violent drug traffickers will be vigorously prosecuted by this office, particularly when their violence is directed at law enforcement officers, and the punishment they face upon conviction will be substantial,” said U.S. Attorney Parker.
Co-defendant Edgar Solorzano, 24, pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, two counts of assault on a federal officer and one count of using, carrying, brandishing and discharging a firearm during in relation to a crime of violence. Sentencing is set for August 7, 2017.
According to evidence presented at trial, on November 19, 2015, Victor and Edgar Solorzano, cousins who lived across the street from each other, fired numerous gunshots at two federal officers with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with high-powered, semi-automatic firearms, and riddled their pickup truck with bullets as the officers fled for their lives.

Officers went to install a court-ordered tracking device on Victor Solorzano’s vehicle at his residence on Wilbur Street in Dallas, Texas. Victor was under federal investigation by HSI for trafficking methamphetamine at the time. Immediately after installing the tracking device on Victor’s vehicle, Victor, armed with a high-powered AR 15 pistol, confronted the officer in the street and began firing at the officer, striking him in the hand and foot. Edgar, meanwhile, was armed with a high-powered AK 47 pistol. The officer ran for his life as Victor and Edgar fired at him. The officer then got inside the passenger’s side of a pickup as Victor and Edgar began firing numerous gunshots at the two federal officers, who did not return fire. Victor and Edgar continued firing at the federal officers as they sped away. The officer who installed the court-ordered tracking device sustained four non­fatal bullet wounds and the pickup driven by the other officer sustained numerous bullet strikes, all from the back. Miraculously, the officers were not severely injured or killed. In total, the Solorzano cousins fired at least 42 gunshots at the federal officers on a residential street, and their turbulent gunfire even struck other vehicles and a home situated on the street.

After the shooting, Edgar hid the AK 47 pistol he used in the attic of his residence and the AR 15 pistol used by Victor in a neighbor’s backyard. The police searched Edgar’s residence and found the pistol hidden in the attic. The police also found in Edgar’s bedroom more than eight grams of methamphetamine, drug-distribution paraphernalia, and a variety of firearms and ammunition. The police later found the pistol used by Victor in the neighbor’s backyard. The police also searched Victor’s residence and found a gallon-sized ziplock bag containing methamphetamine residue in his closet. A narcotics detective estimated that the bag had contained approximately one to two pounds of the drug. The police also found in Victor’s residence drug-cash and a variety of firearms and ammunition.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Dallas Police Department and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated. Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Tromblay and Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Kull and Rachael Jones prosecuted.


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