MOSES LAKE - Grant County prosecutors have dismissed charges against a man accused of leading police on a pursuit from Moses Lake to Warden last June, as the case is being pursued in U.S. District Court.
Three counts of possession of a stolen firearm, four counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of third-degree malicious mischief were dismissed without prejudice June 11 against 35-year-old Michael Castoreno.
Castoreno remains indicted in U.S. District court for felon in possession of firearms and possession of stolen firearms. A trial is tentatively scheduled to start July 29.
Back on June 5, 2018, Moses Lake police and the U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force received information that Castoreno, wanted at the time for felony warrants, was at a home in the Terrace area of Moses Lake, according to court records.
Castoreno was seen getting into a Dodge Charger parked in front of a residence. Officers attempted a traffic stop but Castoreno reportedly fled.
Spike strips were successfully used several times during the chase as Castoreno continued onto state Route 17 heading south toward Warden. Several U.S. Marshal’s joined the chase and attempted to box Castoreno in and get him to stop but dash cam video shows Castoreno’s vehicle collided with the back of a marshal’s pickup truck.
At one point, Moses Lake police say Castoreno is seen throwing liquid from a cup out the driver’s side window during the pursuit. Police later discovered Castoreno had mixed methamphetamine into the liquid. Chunks of meth were reportedly found stuck to the side of Castoreno’s car following the pursuit, according to court records.
Castoreno reportedly continued onto state Route 170 toward Warden, eventually coming to a stop in a neighborhood and fleeing on foot. Moses Lake officer Nick Stewart and K9 Chief followed the suspect. Chief was released and bit Castoreno in the shoulder area.
A warrant was later obtained for Castoreno’s car and police reportedly found four pistols, three of which were reported stolen, along with meth and heroin. He also had close to $4,600 in cash in his pockets when he was arrested.
Moses Lake police say Castoreno is a known gang member, is flagged as a violent offender and has 10 prior felony convictions including eluding, robbery and multiple drug-related felonies.