Two criminal associates of Charles R. Wallace, the outlaw who shot two Spokane County sheriff’s deputies, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court one day shy of the one-year anniversary of the shoot- out.
Brian L. Sellers, 36, was sentenced to eight years, and Gary E. Douglass, 58, received four years in federal prison through plea agreements; both were indicted as part of an alleged heroin distribution ring that others claimed Wallace led.
Wallace shot himself in the head after a high-speed chase following his assault on the deputies.
Wallace was arrested on drug distribution charges in April 2012, and U.S Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno released the 41-year-old Wallace a month later to attend drug rehabilitation therapy while awaiting trial. He left the unsecured rehab center June 3, however, setting in motion a search that included a June 19 shootout during a North Spokane traffic stop that left Deputies Matt Spink and Mike Northway wounded.
The 17-count indictment handed down at about the same time as the shooting named Wallace, Douglass, Sellers, Samuel W. Wright, James C. Lindsay and Frisco S. Ayala as co-conspirators in an alleged heroin distribution ring.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Duggan said all except Wright, who has a trial scheduled in September, have either pleaded guilty or have been sentenced as part of the case.
Duggan said the sentencing of Douglass and Sellers so near the anniversary of Wallace’s shootout was a coincidence.
Sellers was arrested on May 11, 2011, during a road-rage incident and was found to have 84 grams of heroin in his car. He eventually pleaded guilty to three charges, including possession with intent to distribute heroin.
Douglass agreed to plead guilty to one count of using a telephone to set up a drug deal, and U.S. District Court Judge Rosanna Peterson sentenced him to the agreed-upon four years in federal prison.