A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced an East Wenatchee man to 5 1/2 years in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to illegally possessing both firearms and improvised grenades.
U.S. District Court Judge Salvador Mendoza sentenced 53-year-old Michael R. Ayers to 66 months in prison at a hearing in Spokane after Ayers pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of firearms and explosives, as well as possession of unregistered firearms, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
After Ayers “uttered threats to kill an East Wenatchee police officer” in September 2016, police obtained a search warrant for Ayers’ mobile home and discovered two short-barreled rifles, a rifle receiver, a rifle-mounted flare launcher, five improvised grenades loaded with black powder and pellets that were designed to be fired from the flare launcher.
Officers also discovered steel inserts designed to convert the flare launcher into a short-barreled shotgun, body armor, ammunition and large capacity magazines. Ayers was convicted in 2005 of unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance in Douglas County, according to court records.
U.S. Attorney Joseph Harrington thanked the collaborative efforts by the Wenatchee Police Department, federal ATF agents and the U.S. Army 53rd Ordnance Company Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit for working the case.
“Their seamless partnership resulted in the successful outcome of this matter,” Harrington said in the release. “The sentence imposed by the court sends a clear message to others who may choose to engage in such criminal activity.”
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