Fidgety/Nervous Convicted Felon Arrested for Possession of Firearm
During a traffic stop, the extraordinarily nervous and fidgety driver, and convicted felon, was found to illegally be in possession of a firearm in addition to a victim’s identification that had been reported stolen.
On June 13, 2021, at approximately 6:45 p.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Brent Miller observed a red spray-painted Dodge Dakota with Idaho license plates near Farwell and the North Spokane Corridor. After checking the license plates, he learned they came back to a 1999 green Dodge Stratus.
Deputy Miller activated his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop of the vehicle. The driver, later identified as 42-year-old Michael L. Dingman, failed to yield for several hundred feet. Dingman was moving around in the truck, throwing his left hand out of the open window while digging around in the center console area. The vehicle made several jerky movements as it continued to roll up the on-ramp. Dingman pointed over the top of the truck and to the right, apparently trying to indicate he finally planned to pull over.
Suspicious of Dingman’s highly irregular actions, Deputy Miller started to step out of his patrol vehicle but paused, believing Dingman may attempt to flee. Dingman continued to dig around in the car as he finally put the truck into park.
Dingman continued his abnormal behavior during the contact as he continued to ignore commands to stop digging around the vehicle. Dingman picked up a set of keys from the passenger’s side floorboard and put the key in the ignition before shutting the truck off as instructed.
Dingman said he picked the truck up from a family member’s house and was heading to a friend’s home to move some items. He provided a driver’s license but could not provide paperwork for the truck. Dingman was not wearing a shirt, but Deputy Miller observed a white shirt sitting under a headlight near the center console. Dingman explained he planned to change the vehicle's headlight and then decided against it, planning to have it back before dark.
When asked about the fictitious license plates, Dingman said there were “other plates” in the back of the truck. During the contact, Deputy Miller observed a female’s Washington ID card on the driver’s floorboard. Dingman continued to ignore commands and dig around the inside of the vehicle causing increasing safety concerns. Due to Dingman’s extremely nervous and abnormal behavior combined with the continued failure to follow commands to stop digging around, Deputy Miller had him step out of the vehicle and detained him in handcuffs.
Deputy Miller learned Dingman’s driver’s license was valid. During a walk around the outside of the truck Dingman was driving, Deputy Miller noticed an open tallboy beer, a blue backpack/purse sitting underneath the white t-shirt, a round container with suspected ‘dabs’ on the passenger’s side floorboard, and another headlight behind the driver’s seat. Dingman stated he knew nothing about the female’s identification in the truck.
With Dingman’s continued nervous and unusual behavior, Deputy Miller asked if there was anything dangerous/illegal in the truck. Dingman replied, he just got out of treatment, so he doesn’t use, and he doesn’t mess around with guns.
Deputy Miller planned to issue Dingman infractions for the violations and release him. However, taking into account Dingman’s furtive movements, continued digging around despite commands to stop, and his continued highly nervous behavior, Deputy Miller decided for safety to conduct a frisk of the vehicle for weapons first.
When he did, he found the blue bag under the t-shirt was open and contained what appeared to be a pistol. He stopped the frisk and checked Dingman’s criminal history, learning Dingman is a convicted felon (Robbery 1st Degree, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Deliver (2 counts), and Rape of a Child 2nd Degree) and was prohibited from possessing a firearm.
Deputy Miller requested, and was granted, a search warrant for the vehicle and recovered a loaded Taurus Spectrum .380. A check of the firearm’s serial number showed it had not been reported stolen. Deputy Miller seized the female’s identification card and found a credit union member card issued to the same person. Upon further investigation, he found out that the female reported her purse was stolen from a restaurant in Deer Park earlier in the day.
Attempts to contact the registered owner of the truck and the additional female victim were not successful at the time.
The vehicle was impounded, and the evidence was seized pending further investigation.
Dingman was arrested and transported to the Spokane County Jail. He was booked for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm 1st Degree and Possession of Stolen Property 3rd Degree. Later, additional unrelated charges of Failure to Register as a Sex Offender and Burglary were added. He remains in custody with a total bond of $10,000.