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Press Release

Spokane Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking and Firearms Offenses

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

Spokane – On July 25, 2023, U.S. Senior District Judge Rosanna Malouf Peterson sentenced Merced Zamora, 41, of Spokane, Washington, to 240 months in federal prison for Possession with Intent to Distribute 50 Grams of Actual Methamphetamine, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, as well as for Use, Carry, and Possession of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Drug Trafficking Offense. Zamora was previously convicted, on March 1, 2023, following a multi-day jury trial. Senior Judge Peterson also ordered Zamora to serve an additional ten years on federal supervision after he is released from prison.

According to court documents, Zamora, on January 11, 2019, was the driver of a vehicle that was stopped for a traffic violation by a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputy. At the time of the traffic stop, Zamora’s driver’s license was suspended. Following a search of Zamora’s vehicle, two firearms, ammunition, drug paraphernalia, and approximately a half pound of methamphetamine were recovered from inside the car.

Zamora’s trial began on February 27, 2023. After testimony from numerous witnesses, the jury convicted Zamora on March 1, 2023 of all charges.

Following the sentencing, Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, stated, “I am grateful for the dedication of the investigators, agents, and prosecutors, who brought Mr. Zamora to justice. Thanks to their dedication, a dangerous offender, illegal firearms, and deadly drugs have been removed from the Spokane community. We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to keep our neighborhoods and communities safe and 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 County Sheriff’s Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation Spokane Regional Safe Streets Task Force, the Spokane Resident Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”), and the Drug Enforcement Administration. This case was prosecuted by Patrick J. Cashman, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.



Richard Barker 
First Assistant United States Attorney and Public Affairs Officer
509-353-2767 or

Updated July 27, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking