January 03, 2011
Contact: Jodie Underwood
Phone Number: (206) 553-5443
Cowlitz County Man Gets Ten Year Prison Term For Drug And Gun Crimes
SEATTLE, WASH - Michael J. Waddington, 24, of Silver Lake, Washington, was sentenced December 30, 2010, to ten years in prison and four years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and being armed with a firearm in connection with a drug crime. Waddington was arrested in June 2010, after a series of run-ins with law enforcement. Waddington was part of a drug ring distributing highly pure methamphetamine or “ice” in Lewis and Cowlitz Counties.
The Drug Enforcement (DEA) and the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Narcotics Task Force began investigating Waddington and other members of the drug distribution ring in 2009. Information revealed that Waddington and co-defendants Anthony Reisbeck, Erica Lewis, and Randy S. Chalupa were selling pound quantities of methamphetamine in the Kelso, Washington area. On a number of occasions Waddington was stopped by law enforcement for traffic related offenses and was found to be in possession of methamphetamine. In January 2010, Waddington was involved in a hit and run crash. Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Deputies pursued the van Waddington was driving. Waddington ultimately ran off the road and tried to flee. He was caught by deputies. A search of his backpack revealed methamphetamine and a stolen hand gun. Waddington was stopped one last time by police on June 22, 2010, driving with a suspended license. Again he possessed methamphetamine, a silver club and metal knuckles. Waddington admitted one of his roles in the drug organization was to collect drug debts. Waddington has been in custody since June 23, 2010, and pleaded guilty October 8, 2010.
In asking for a significant term of imprisonment, the prosecuting Assistant United States Attorney noted for the court that Waddington illegally possessed multiple firearms - rifles, pistols, and a sawed-off shotgun. In 2007, Waddington was convicted of assault after he and a co-defendant punched and kicked the victim and stole the victim’s wallet, car keys and cell phone. Later, Waddington threatened to harm a potential witness to the assault/robbery and was subsequently convicted of tampering with a witness.