U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Washington
(509) 353-2767
March 11, 2015

Wapato Man Who Operated Vehicle During Drive-By Shooting Sentenced to 10 Years' Imprisonment

SPOKANE—Today, Michael C. Ormsby, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Morgan Moses Sampson, age 24, was sentenced for operating a vehicle during a gang related drive by shooting. United States District Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr. sentenced Sampson to a ten-year term of imprisonment, to be followed by a three-year term of court supervision upon release from Federal prison

According to information disclosed during the court proceedings, on March 21, 2014, Sampson and three other individuals engaged in target shooting. Sampson consumed a great deal of alcohol and ingested marijuana. The four men decided to look for Sureno gang members. Sampson entered the driver’s seat and drove around a residential housing area. At approximately 5:00 p.m., the men spotted what they believed to be a rival gang member. Sampson drove the vehicle very slowly so that the shooter would have a better chance of hitting his target. The shooter fired eight rounds and mistakenly hit a young child who was playing outside. Sampson sped away in an effort to distance himself from the crime scene. However, a neighbor observed the shooting and immediately contacted the police. A short time later, police observed the suspect vehicle and all four men were arrested.

Michael C. Ormsby said, “Gang-related violence will not be tolerated in the Eastern District of Washington. The success of this investigation was the result of strong working partnerships among the Yakama Nation Tribal Police Department, the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington State Patrol and the FBI. The United States Attorney’s Office will work in tandem with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement officers to prosecute aggressively anyone involved in such horrific acts of violence. Today’s lengthy prison sentences reflects the seriousness of this crime.”

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Yakama Nation Tribal Police Department, the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, and the Washington State Patrol. The case was prosecuted by Tom Hanlon, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

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