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Press Release

Moses Lake Man Sentenced to 11 Years for Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine

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

Spokane – Today, United States Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref announced that U.S. District Judge Thomas O. Rice has sentenced Mario Robert Crittenden, 24, of Moses Lake, Washington, to 132 months in federal prison for Conspiracy to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Actual Methamphetamine. Crittenden previously pleaded guilty on June 2, 2022. Judge Rice also ordered Crittenden to serve an additional five years on federal supervision after he is released from prison.

According to court documents, Crittenden, a documented gang member, facilitated the distribution of significant quantities of methamphetamine and heroin to an undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agent. During a year-long investigation beginning in April 2020 and continuing through April 2021, Crittenden coordinated the exchange of money for controlled substances on 15 occasions, resulting in the seizure of over two pounds of methamphetamine. In addition to distributing controlled substances, Crittenden engaged in the sale of firearms. Crittenden also informed the undercover agent that he had previously engaged in a number of violent acts targeting rival gang members.

U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref commended the dedication of the investigators who investigated Crittenden and other gang associates involved in unlawful distribution of controlled substances into our communities. Through the diligence of these criminal investigators, another dangerous gang member who seeks to profit, whether monetarily or in establishing gang status, was removed from the community. By holding dangerous offenders such as Mr. Crittenden accountable, we help keep our communities in Eastern Washington safe and our neighborhoods strong.”

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 Resident Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Grant County Sheriff’s Office, and Moses Lake Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Patrick J. Cashman, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.


Richard Barker 
Assistant United States Attorney and Public Affairs Officer
509-835-6311 or

Updated November 4, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 2:21-CR-043-TOR-1