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Moses Lake Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Arson Over a Drug Debt
U.S. Attorney's Office - Eastern Dist. of Wash. - 07/18/24 12:21 PM

Spokane, Washington - Vanessa R. Waldref, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that David Alexander Maybee, age 25, of Moses Lake, Washington, was sentenced after pleading guilty to Malicious Destruction of Property by Fire. United States District Judge Thomas O. Rice imposed a sentence of 60 months imprisonment to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.

According to court documents and information presented at the sentencing hearing, on January 21, 2022, Maybee and 3 others drove to the Motel 6 in Moses Lake. The driver of the vehicle parked nearby. Maybee and another man got out of the vehicle and walked to an Audi parked in the motel parking lot. Using a water bottle filled with gasoline they had obtained from a gas station earlier that night, the man poured gasoline over the Audi while Maybee acted as a lookout. The man lit the gasoline on fire and the pair ran back to their vehicle and left the scene. Moses Lake Fire Department and Moses Lake Police Department (MLPD) responded quickly and were able to extinguish the fire. While the vehicle was a total loss, no one was injured. The incident was captured on the Motel 6 surveillance cameras. 

Follow-up investigation showed that the three individuals, to include Maybee, acted on the behalf of a local drug dealer, and the vehicle was torched over an outstanding drug debt.  The three were expecting a cash reward from the drug dealer for their actions. 

As discussed at the sentencing hearing, just a month after the arson, Maybee and an accomplice robbed a local Carl’s Jr. to get money to pay a drug debt that they owed to their drug dealer.  Maybee was sentenced in Grant County Superior Court to 171 months of custody (22-1-0045-13).  That same month, February 2022, Maybee and an accomplice kicked in the back door of a home in Moses Lake and stole multiple firearms and ammunition.  

In imposing sentencing, Judge Rice noted Maybee’s criminal history was “atrocious” and warned that after serving his sentences, if he returns to the community and commits additional crimes, he will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

“This case starkly demonstrates the dangerous nexus between illicit drugs and violence. Mr. Maybee participated in an arson to settle a drug debt that placed our first responders and entire community at risk,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “I am grateful for our strong partnerships with local, state, and federal law enforcement who protect our neighborhoods and work so effectively with our office to hold accountable individuals who are the largest drivers of violent crime.”

“While Mr. Maybee didn’t actually light the fire his part in this crime was still extremely troubling,” said ATF Seattle Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Blais. “Taken as a whole, the dangers posed by his and his accomplice’s actions clearly warrant this sentence.”

This case was investigated by the ATF and the Moses Lake Police Department. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Caitlin Baunsgard.