SPOKANE - A Warden man was sentenced to nine years in federal prison in a stolen firearms case stemming from a police chase from Moses Lake to Warden.
Michael Castoreno, a known gang member, previously pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Spokane to possession of stolen firearms in connection to his June 5, 2018 arrest. A charge of felon in possession of firearms was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.
Following his nine-year prison term, Castoreno will be under supervised release for three years.
On June 5, 2018, Moses Lake police and the U.S. Marshals Violent Offender Task Force received information Castoreno, wanted at the time on 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 and he then fled from an attempted traffic stop.
Spike strips were successfully used several times during the chase as Castoreno continued onto state Route 17 heading south toward Warden. Several U.S. Marshals joined the chase and attempted to box Castoreno in and get him to stop but dash cam video shows Castoreno’s vehicle collide 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 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.
Castoreno was initially charged in Grant County Superior Court on charges relating to stolen firearms and unlawful possession of firearms, possession of meth and malicious mischief. The charges were dismissed as part of the federal plea agreement.