Gang Member Michael Lorenzo Martinez Castoreno Sentenced to 108 Months in Federal Prison for Possession of Stolen Firearms

(STL.News) – William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Michael Lorenzo Martinez Castoreno, age 35, of Moses Lake, Washington, was sentenced today after having pleaded guilty on July 15, 2019, to possession of stolen firearms.  Senior United States District Judge Wm.  Fremming Nielsen sentenced Castoreno to a 108-month term of imprisonment, to be followed by a 3-year term of court supervision after he is released from federal prison.

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, on June 5, 2018, Castoreno, a documented criminal street gang member, led police on a high speed chase, stopping only after he crashed into a law enforcement vehicle.  Officers arrested Castoreno and found three stolen firearms in his vehicle.

United States Attorney Hyslop said, “The United States Attorney’s Office will prosecute aggressively individuals who unlawfully possess firearms.  Such offenses are serious.  I commend the Moses Lake Police Department, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Adams County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for their commitment to this successful prosecution.”

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 is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.  Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.  The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from the following Project Guardian partners: the Moses Lake Police Department, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Adams County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  For more information about Project Guardian, please see [: https://www.justice.gov/ag/project-guardian-memo-2019/download].

This case was investigated by the Spokane Resident Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Marshals Service, Moses Lake Police Department, and the Sheriff’s Offices of Grant and Adams Counties.  This case was prosecuted by Patrick J. Cashman, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

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