DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of California

For Immediate Release

Friday, October 26, 2018
Adam L. Braverman
, United States Attorney
Contact: Matthew Brehm

Vista Man Sentenced for Drug Trafficking and Firearms Offenses

SAN DIEGO – Arash Sean Soltani of Vista was sentenced yesterday to 15 years in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, for possession of methamphetamine and marijuana with intent to distribute and for possession of firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities, by the Honorable Gonzalo P. Curiel, United States District Judge, Southern District of California.

At the time of his guilty plea, Soltani admitted that he possessed four AR15-style rifles, a fully automatic handgun, and several thousand rounds of ammunition to protect his supply of more than half a pound of methamphetamine and 136 marijuana plants and to further his drug trafficking activities. According to court records, in addition to the firearms, ammunition, methamphetamine and marijuana plants, law enforcement officers also seized marijuana oil extraction equipment, harvested and concentrated cannabis, cannabis oil and a scale with marijuana residue during a search of Soltani’s two homes in Vista.

"Fighting violent crime is a top priority for our office," said United States Attorney Adam Braverman. "San Diego has the lowest crime rate in 49 years and the lowest violent crime rate of all major cities in the nation last year. We will continue to prosecute cases like this to keep San Diego safe."

"ATF recognizes the role firearms play in violent crimes and focuses on armed violent offenders and career criminals, narcotics traffickers, violent gang activity, and domestic and international arms trafficker’s" said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Los Angeles’ Special Agent in Charge Bill McMullan. "ATF will continue to target, investigate and recommend for prosecution these offenders to reduce the level of violent crime and to enhance public safety."

DEFENDANT Case Number 17CR0843-GPC

  • Arash Sean Soltani Age: 45 Vista, CA

SUMMARY OF CHARGES

  • Count 1, Possession of Methamphetamine and Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, in violation of Title 21, U.S.C. 841 (A)(1)
  • Maximum penalty: Life in prison and $10 million fine; mandatory minimum 10 years in prison
  • Count 2, Possession of Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime, in violation of Title 18, U.S.C. 924 (c) (1) (A) (i)
  • Maximum Penalty: Life in prison and $250,000 fine; mandatory minimum five years in prison

AGENCY

  • Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives
  • San Diego County Sheriff’s Department

*This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

Field Division: Los Angeles Field Division