DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Washington

For Immediate Release

Friday, August 31, 2018
Joseph H. Harrington
, United States Attorney
Contact: George J.C. Jacobs, III

Spokane Felon Sentenced to 20 years in Federal Prison for Firearms Possession and Drug Trafficking

Spokane – Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Michael C. Painter, age 32, of Spokane, Washington, was sentenced today after having pleaded guilty to possessing with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of actual methamphetamine, possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a previously convicted felon in possession of firearms. Chief United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice sentenced Painter to a 240-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 5-year term of court supervision following release from Federal prison. Chief Judge Rice also imposed an additional 24-month term of imprisonment, to run concurrent to the 240-months, after finding that Painter violated court supervision stemming from a previous firearm-related conviction.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, Painter was a passenger in vehicle stopped for a traffic infraction. During the stop, deputies determined Painter had a pending arrest warrant. While searching Painter incident to arrest, deputies seized a loaded Glock, model 22, .40 caliber, pistol from Painter’s waistband and approximately 54 grams of actual methamphetamine in his pants. After obtaining a warrant to search the vehicle, deputies seized a loaded Hi-Point, Model C9, 9mm pistol and 218 grams of actual methamphetamine from a bag in the area where Painter was sitting. At the time, Painter was serving a term of federal supervised release.

Joseph H. Harrington said, "The sentence imposed today sends a strong message to individuals who commit drug and firearm-related crimes in the Eastern District of Washington. I commend the law enforcement officers with ATF, FBI and Spokane County Sheriff’s Office for their excellent investigative work in this case."

This case was prosecuted under the Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) program. PSN is a federal, state, and local law enforcement collaboration to identify, investigate, and prosecute individuals

responsible for violent crimes in our neighborhoods. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement to specifically identify the criminals responsible for violent crime in the Eastern District of Washington and pursue criminal prosecution.

This case was investigated by the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, the Spokane Federal Bureau of Investigations’ Safe Streets Task Force, and ATF. This case was prosecuted by Patrick J. Cashman, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.


Washington Field Division