DALLAS — Following a four-day trial before U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay, a federal jury convicted a Dallas man of five counts stemming from the Nov. 19, 2015, armed assault of two federal law enforcement officers in southwest Dallas.
This guilty verdict was announced by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas. This case was investigated by the FBI, Dallas Police Department, and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Victor Manuel Solorzano, 32, was convicted of the following crimes: one count of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine; two counts of assaulting 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 each carry a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The firearm offense is punishable by not less than 35 years and up to life. These sentences must run consecutively to any sentences imposed for the drug and assault offenses. Sentencing is set for Aug. 21.
“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 the following crimes: one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance; two counts of assaulting 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 Aug. 7.
According to evidence presented at trial, on Nov. 19, 2015, Victor and Edgar Solorzano, cousins who lived across the street from each other, fired numerous gunshots at two federal officers with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) using high-powered, semi-automatic firearms. Both Solorzanos riddled the HSI pickup truck with bullets as the officers fled for their lives.
Officers installed 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 non-fatal bullet wounds; 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 hid Victor’s AR-15 pistol 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 in his closet a gallon-sized ziplock bag containing methamphetamine residue. A narcotics detective estimated that the bag had contained about one to two pounds of the drug. The police also found in Victor’s residence drug-cash and a variety of firearms and ammunition.
Deputy Criminal Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Tromblay and Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Kull and Rachael Jones prosecuted.