Spouse and cousin of drug trafficking ringleader sentenced to significant prison terms for their roles in drug distribution conspiracy
Tacoma – A 35-year-old Federal Way, Washington, man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 61 months in prison for drug and gun trafficking, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Michael G. McPherson was indicted in May 2019 and pleaded guilty in November 2020 to trafficking in stolen firearms, possession of methamphetamine and heroin with intent to distribute, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle ordered four years of supervised release to follow the prison term.
"Our community, like much of the country, is strugging with an epidemic of gun violence," said Acting U.S. Attorney Gorman. "This defendant sold guns - some of them stolen - to someone who claimed to be providing the firearms to drug cartel and gang members. Such disregard for community safety requires significant punishment."
According to records filed in the case, McPherson was first on the radar of local law enforcement in September 2018 when a Court-authorized search warrant served at his residence in Bonney Lake resulted in the seizure of significant quantities of heroin, methamphetamine, and multiple firearms. Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, Tobacco & Explosives joined the investigation. An ATF undercover officer arranged to purchase firearms from McPherson. The men met at a storage unit McPherson owned, and the undercover agent purchase four firearms—three semi-automatic pistols and a revolver. Two of the guns had been reported stolen.
Within days of the sale, Court-authorized search warrants were issued for McPherson’s residence in Federal Way, the storage unit, and his two vehicles. Multiple firearms were recovered as well as dealer quantities of methamphetamine and heroin.
McPherson has been in custody since his arrest.
The case was investigated by the Kent Police Department, King County Sheriff’s Office, ATF, and the FBI.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory A. Gruber.
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.