Ocala, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Jose Santos Pardo (23, Homestead) with one count of possession with the intent to distribute over 40 grams of fentanyl and one count of possession of contraband by an inmate in prison. If convicted, Santos Pardo faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 5 years, up to 40 years, in federal prison for the fentanyl offense and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for the possession of contraband offense.
According to the court records, Santos Pardo was an inmate at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex, assigned to a low security section of the prison. On November 19, 2022, a correctional officer observed Santos Pardo running along the side of the road towards an inmate housing unit carrying three bags. When confronted, officers determined that Santos Pardo’s bags contained 92.8 grams of fentanyl, over 300 grams of marijuana, tobacco, several bottles of alcohol, 14 cellphones, and multiple other prohibited items. During an interview with law enforcement, Santos Pardo admitted that he had picked up the bags of contraband from the side of the road and was attempting to bring them into the prison.
An indictment is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a federal criminal offense. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Hannah Nowalk.