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Press Release

Domestic Abuser Sentenced to 4 Years in Federal Prison for Firearm Offense

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Spokane, Wash – United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke sentenced Michael Brian Ross, age 41, of Spokane, Washington to 4 years in federal prison after Ross pleaded guilty to being a Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Ross will also serve 3 years of supervised release after his release from confinement.

According to court documents, On February 8th, 2023, officers with the Department of Corrections (DOC) detained Ross on a DOC warrant issued for his failure to report. DOC officers then received permission to search Ross’s truck. Inside, they spotted what appeared to be a gun stashed under the dash. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) were contacted and searched the truck. They removed a loaded 9mm caliber semi-automatic pistol.

At the time he was detained, Ross had three convictions for crimes that qualify for federal felonies, including, one count Second Degree Assault (Domestic Violence), First Degree Burglary, and seven counts of Possession of a Stolen Firearm.

This sentencing is part of the Eastern District of Washington’s Safe Homes, Safe Community initiative in Spokane, which is designed to help communities implement promising practices to protect domestic violence survivors by preventing abusers from having unlawful access to firearms in situations that are already dangerous for survivors.

“The unlawful possession of firearms by domestic violence abusers is too often deadly for victims of intimate partner violence and lethal for law enforcement officers responding to emergency calls,” U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref stated. “The Safe Homes, Safe Community initiative is making important progress in keeping firearms out of the hands of domestic abusers and in making our neighborhoods safe and strong.”

“With multiple qualifying felony convictions, Mr. Ross clearly knew he was not supposed to possess firearms, yet he did so anyway,” said ATF Seattle Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jonathan T. McPherson.  “This is a well-earned sentence and one from which he will hopefully change his ways upon release.”

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Washington State Department of Corrections. This case was prosecuted by Michael J. Ellis, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, and Michael L. Vander Giessen, Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

Domestic violence is a serious crime that can include both physical and emotional abuse, and it is frequently hidden from public view. Many survivors suffer in silence, afraid to seek help or not knowing where to turn. The traumatic effects of domestic violence also extend beyond the abused person, impacting family members, friends, and communities.

If you or someone you know are in immediate danger, please call 911.

If you need assistance or know someone who needs help, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Many communities throughout the country have also created support networks to assist survivors in the process of recovery.



Rob Curry

Public Affairs Specialist

Updated October 25, 2023

Firearms Offenses