Man who tried to kill Spokane police officer pleads guilty to federal drug, gun charges | News

Man who tried to kill Spokane police officer pleads guilty to federal drug, gun charges | News

SPOKANE – Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Ray Anthony Wynecoop pleaded guilty on June 26, 2024, to multiple federal charges. These include one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, one count of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, one count of discharging a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. United States District Judge Mary K. Dimke accepted Wynecoop’s plea and scheduled a sentencing hearing for September 25, 2024, in Spokane, Washington.

Incident details

Wynecoop’s guilty plea stems from his involvement in two separate incidents detailed during court proceedings.

Incident 1: December 11, 2021

On December 11, 2021, a Spokane Police Department (SPD) officer observed Wynecoop driving a white Dodge Charger with no license plates and not using a turn signal. When SPD attempted a traffic stop using lights and sirens, Wynecoop drove erratically at excessive speeds on residential streets, attempting to evade police. The pursuit was terminated due to safety concerns, but the Charger was soon found wrecked. Wynecoop was apprehended after attempting to flee on foot.

A search of the vehicle revealed a loaded 9mm pistol with a mounted black laser, a backpack containing Wynecoop’s identification card and two additional lasers, a .380 semi-automatic pistol and a fanny pack containing an ounce of heroin and pills containing fentanyl.

Second incident: June 26, 2022

On June 26, 2022, Wynecoop, armed with a .22-caliber pistol with a loaded high-capacity drum magazine, was involved in multiple drive-by shootings. He and an accomplice intentionally targeted police officers. Video evidence shows that they chased an SPD officer, and when another officer arrived to assist, Wynecoop opened fire, wounding the officer in the leg and head. Fortunately, the officer survived the attack.

A search of Wynecoop’s vehicle after the shooting uncovered thousands of fentanyl pills, a small amount of heroin and other drug-related items.

Conviction and legal proceedings

On April 5, 2024, Wynecoop was sentenced to more than 65 years in prison in Washington state court on multiple charges related to the shooting. The federal case was opened while those charges were pending.

U.S. Attorney Waldref expressed shock at the severity of Wynecoop’s actions. “The violence in this case is shocking. Mr. Wynecoop, a felon who was not licensed to own firearms, engaged in a series of violent crimes that included attempting to premeditate the murder of a police officer. His blatant disregard for the law and the safety of our community put us all in danger,” Waldref said. “I am grateful to the brave men and women of law enforcement who put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect us from individuals who commit dangerous acts like Mr. Wynecoop.”

Ron Deist, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Spokane District Office, stressed the importance of interagency collaboration in combating violent crime. “This case underscores the importance of our collaboration with federal, state and local partners, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington, the Spokane Police Department and the Spokane County District Attorney’s Office, to find innovative solutions to get violent offenders off the streets.”

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Spokane Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie Van Marter.