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Tag: Moses Lake

Washington Man Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison for Shooting at ATF Agents

By Steve Neavling

A Washington man who fired a shotgun at four ATF agents has been sentenced to 35 years in prison, the Justice Department announced Thursday.

Patrick Elliott Pearson, 49, of Moses Lake, was convicted by a jury of assaulting the agents, engaging in a drug conspiracy, discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. 

Pearson was accused of running a meth and heroin ring in greater Grant County and Yakima areas from 2015 to 2019. 

When ATF agents, Grant County detectives and local police officers descended on Pearson’s compound on the morning of July 16, 2019 to serve search and arrest warrants, Pearson, from inside his trailer, repeatedly shot at agents from the ATF’s Special Response Team. 

Unable to see if anyone else was inside the trailer, ATF agents didn’t fire back. 

Pearson tried to take his own life by turning the shotgun on himself and was life-flighted to Spokane for medical treatment. 

“No one can be allowed to shoot at law enforcement. Numerous brave ATF agents went to Mr. Pearson’s trailer that morning to do their jobs by executing a lawful court order and serving a valid arrest warrant,” U.S. Attorney Vanessa Waldref said in a statement. “Thanks to Mr. Pearson’s poor aim, this community has not had to endure the potential tragedy of fallen ATF officers. Today’s sentence sends a clear warning to anyone who thinks they can shoot their way out of an arrest and get away with it – they cannot. If they try, the United States Attorney’s Office will work with its federal, state, and local partners to investigate and prosecute them to the fullest extent provided by law. When Mr. Pearson saw on his video screens that ATF was present with a warrant, he simply had to surrender to avoid the most serious charges in this case. Instead, with reckless disregard for human life, he tried to hurt or kill a number of agents.”

Jonathan T. McPherson, special agent in charge of the ATF Seattle Field Division, added, “The actions of the ATF Special Agents and officers from our partner agencies that day are truly commendable. They acted with high regard not only for the safety of the surrounding community, but also for Mr. Pearson, despite the fact that he was shooting at our Special Response Team. We are thankful none of our Special Agents were injured and that Mr. Pearson will serve a significant sentence.”