Celebrating National Caribbean-American Heritage Month

Portrait of Sonia Melendez MorenoSonia Y. Melendez Moreno is an Industry Operations Investigator (IOI) for the Charlotte Field Division. She investigates, audits and interviews individuals of the firearm industry and government entities to enforce firearms and explosives regulations. Melendez Moreno is also a member of ATF’s Hispanic Employee Resource Group and she helps promote workplace diversity, inclusion and empowerment opportunities for Hispanic and Latino employees.

She started her federal career as an Internal Revenue Service employee in 2009 while she was still in college. With support from her former supervisor, Melendez Moreno decided to pursue a career in law enforcement. Her hard work paid off and in 2016 she was hired as an IOI. In addition to her investigative work, Melendez Moreno also supports ATF’s Digital Media Division by translating ATF.gov content into Spanish.

Growing up in Puerto Rico, her parents encouraged and inspired her to focus on hard work and commitment to goals in order to achieve her dreams. They often encouraged her and her siblings to find their own path in the world and she believes her parents’ guidance paved the way for her successful career.

As a Caribbean-American, Melendez Moreno got a sense of diversity, inclusion and culture through the mixture of Spanish, Taíno (Indigenous American) and African cultures that are present in Puerto Rico. She believes the people, food, music and dances you experience there is what makes growing up in the Caribbean such a unique experience.

Melendez Moreno recognizes that National Caribbean-American Heritage Month is an opportunity to be seen, heard and included. It’s also a chance to share your differences and similarities for others to understand and see things from a different perspective.

Last Reviewed June 16, 2022