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Super Lawyers Defending Federal Criminal Cases Throughout the U.S.

 “…If you are looking for an AMAZING team to represent you or a loved one I would recommend you contact [Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, PLLC].”  Spouse of federal criminal client facing RICO charges, 2014

Being accused of a federal crime is a very serious matter. The federal government has a breathtaking amount of legal power. The stakes are high. Sentences for federal crimes often call for years, if not decades in federal prison, including harsh mandatory minimum sentences for a variety of crimes. Even being involved in or the subject of a federal investigation can be stressful. It is for these reasons that, if you or somebody you know is facing a federal investigation or prosecution, it is imperative you hire the best federal criminal defense attorney(s) / law firm you can find.

“The choices you make in who you hire are going to have a profound effect on the rest of your life.

At Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, PLLC, our team of award-winning criminal defense attorneys are uniquely qualified to defend someone facing a federal investigation or federal criminal charges. Our team features:

A former-U.S. Attorney

Four former-federal prosecutors or AUSA’s

Two former- FBI Special Agents

Two former- Active duty JAGs

Our firm focuses almost exclusively on criminal defense, because we believe it makes us better at what we do- defending federal criminal cases. Call now for a free consultation at our Grand Rapids office (616) 458-5500 or our Fremont office (231) 924-8700.

Federal Criminal Investigations

Federal investigators, including those from the FBI, DEA, ATF, and ICE (immigration), to name a few, often invest an incredible amount of time, money, and resources into building a criminal case. The federal government uses a vast array investigative techniques to build their case(s). This includes using:

  • data-mining—using government or private (banks and insurance companies, for example) databases to identify financial transactions associated with drug dealing, money laundering, or fraud, e.g., examining billing records for anomalous billing practices, etc.;
  • federal grand jury subpoenas to compel the production of documents, i.e., bank records, emails, texts, etc.;
  • federal grand jury subpoenas to compel witness testimony;
  • search warrants to search and seize evidence of a crime;
  • physical surveillance;
  • court-authorized electronic surveillance (sometimes called “wiretaps”) of conversations, telephone calls, emails, texts, etc.;
  • confidential informants and cooperating witnesses, including jail house informants, to gather information and consensually record conversations/interactions;
  • undercover operations;
  • promises of immunity or plea bargains to induce the cooperation of witnesses;
  • witness/subject interrogations, interviews, and testimony.

Common Federal Criminal Charges

U.S. District Court building, Grand Rapids - as federal criminal defense attorneys, we have represented many clients here

U.S. District Court, Grand Rapids, MI

The federal government relies on highly-skilled prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to enforce and prosecute federal criminal cases. In addition to being smart and capable trial attorneys, typically, federal prosecutors (more formally known as Assistant United States Attorneys or AUSA’s) also benefit from practicing exclusively in a highly-specialized area of the law: federal criminal law. Federal prosecutors wield an incredible amount of power known as prosecutorial discretion. This means that they can, within the parameters of the law, DOJ policy and their own guidelines, pick and choose what charges to levy and what deals to make with witnesses and the accused. Because Congress has passed some of the harshest criminal laws in the world, federal prosecutors often leverage the threat of long-term incarceration both to force witnesses to cooperate with their investigations and to force the accused to plead guilty rather than face the threat of a potentially longer prison sentence.

Commonly charged federal crimes in the Western District of Michigan include:

White Collar Crimes The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Grand Rapids recently declared at a meeting of the Federal Bar Association that one of its priorities is the prosecution of complex white collar or economic crimes because, in its view, the federal government is uniquely qualified and capable of prosecuting such crimes. White collar crimes  include:

  • Ponzi schemes and investment frauds;
  • Bank frauds (embezzlement, loan frauds)
  • Tax fraud (illegal tax avoidance/abusive tax shelter schemes, fraudulent refund schemes, etc.)
  • Bankruptcy fraud
  • Government program fraud (e.g., fraudulently obtaining government benefits from various agencies, or government contracting fraud)
  • Health Care Fraud
  • Corruption (bribery and kickback schemes)

Federal Drug Charges – The penalties for federal drug crimes can be very harsh and may include severe mandatory minimum sentences of five, ten, fifteen, twenty years in prison, or even life in prison, depending on the facts of the case, quantities involved, and the accused’s criminal history. Common federal drug charges in West Michigan include:

  • Conspiracy (21 U.S.C. § 846)
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Distribute (21 U.S.C. § 841(a) (1))
  • Distribution of a Controlled Substance (21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1))
  • Manufacture of a Controlled Substance (21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1))
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance (21 U.S.C. § 844)
  • Aiding and Abetting (18 U.S.C. § 2)

Violent Crimes — The U.S. Attorneys takes its responsibility to protect the public from violent crimes seriously. Because the federal government has the resources and power to put a dent in violent crime, it often prioritizes the prosecution of certain violent crimes over others. When doing so, the federal government often uses state and local law enforcement task forces as a “force multiplier” when it is trying to rid communities of particularly violent criminals. The most commonly charged violent crimes in West Michigan include:

  • Project Safe Streets–targets gang violence through gun and drug prosecutions, RICO prosecutions, dangerous felons in possession of a firearm (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)), and Armed Career Criminals (18 U.S.C. § 924(e)) and Career Offenders, and;
  • Project Safe Childhood—aggressively targets the possession and distribution of child pornography along with the exploitation of vulnerable vicims (18 U.S.C. § 2252A and 2256);
  • Bank Robberies (18 U.S.C. 2113(a)).

Immigration offenses — non-citizens living in the state of Michigan, including non-citizens with U.S. issued green cards, can be deported if they violate U.S. immigration laws. By remaining up-to-date on ever-changing immigration regulations, our criminal defense attorneys in Grand Rapids protect the rights of non-citizens who have been charged with crimes and face the prospect of deportation.

Criminal Defense Super Lawyers


Because the deck is stacked against federal criminal defendants and the stakes are so high, if you or someone you know is facing federal criminal charges or a federal investigation, you should hire the best federal criminal defense attorney(s) you can find in order to protect yourself and your future.  Attorneys Gary Springstead and Michael Bartish are among the best criminal defense attorneys in Michigan, according to Super Lawyer magazine.  Only 5% of attorneys in Michigan are deemed Super Lawyers and only five other criminal defense attorneys in Grand Rapids earned this distinction in 2014 (not including Rising Stars). At Springstead Bartish & Borgula Law, our team of award-winning attorneys, who focus almost exclusively on criminal defense, with an emphasis on federal criminal defense, are uniquely qualified to protect you and your future if you are facing federal criminal cases.

Truly Exceptional Experience:  A Former-JAG Attorney, Two Former-FBI Agents, Two Former Federal Prosecutor, and a Former U.S. Attorney

At Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, P.L.L.C., our legal team includes two former-FBI Special Agents and a former-U.S. Army Judge Advocate General (JAG Attorney) who focus almost exclusively on criminal defense in West Michigan.  Because our team of federal criminal defense attorneys began their careers building and prosecuting cases for the federal government, they are especially adept at taking them apart and successfully navigating what can be a precarious criminal justice system.

Prior to joining private practice, Attorneys Gary K. Springstead and Kathy Springstead were both FBI Special Agents in the Washington, DC, area.  Mr. Springstead was an F.B.I. Special Agent for approximately five years, investigating and assisting in the prosecution of a broad range of federal crimes from sophisticated white collar crimes to violent crimes, terrorism and national security matters. This included investigating numerous high-profile cases in the United States and abroad.

Ms. Springstead became a Special Agent for the FBI in 2001, where she conducted sensitive investigations into violations of federal law. Her duties in this position included interviewing witnesses, performing surveillance, executing search and arrest warrants, testifying in federal court as well as coordinating investigations and prosecutions with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Department of Justice and other federal agencies.

Mr. Bartish, currently a Lt. Col. in the Army Reserves, Mr. Bartish began his career as a trial counsel in the United States Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps (J.A.G. Attorney) prosecuting military courts-martials while serving four years on active duty.  Bartish spent his final year on active duty as a trial defense counsel representing soldiers and officers accused of military offenses.

Mr. Borgula began his career at two large, national law firms, Dykema, in Detroit, Michigan,  and Jenner & Block in Chicago, IL.  After working in private practice for several years, Mr. Borgula became a federal prosecutor or Assistant U.S. Attorney in Grand Rapids, MI, where he worked for more than twelve years prior to joining Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, P.L.L.C..  At the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mr. Borgula developed an expertise in white collar crime and drug prosecutions, leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office as the Deputy Criminal Chief and formerly as the head of the financial crimes unit.

In November of 2015, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, Don Davis, joined Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, P.L.L.C. in the capacity of “Of Counsel.”  Mr. Davis was the U.S. Attorney from 2008 – 2012.  Prior to being appointed U.S. Attorney, Mr. Davis worked for 30 years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney.

When you hire our team of uniquely qualified federal criminal defense attorneys, we will put our exceptional experience to work for you, protecting you and your future.

A Team of Award-Winning Attorneys Dedicated to Federal Criminal Defense

Federal criminal defense attorneys Michael Bartish and Gary Springstead have earned the Super Lawyers title and the AVVO Client Choice Award in 2014

Grand Rapids’ Super Lawyers in Criminal Law, 2014 (Back Row L-R Michael Bartish, Gary Springstead)

Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, P.L.L.C. boasts two attorneys, Mr. Springstead and Mr. Bartish, deemed “Super Lawyers” for criminal law in 2014.  Only 5% of attorneys in Michigan receive this prestigious designation and only seven criminal defense attorneys in Grand Rapids, Michigan, earned this distinction in 2014.  Two of the seven Super Lawyers for criminal law in Grand Rapids in 2014 are Mr. Springstead and Mr. Bartish.  Only one other law firm in Grand Rapids can claim such a distinction.  Both Attorneys Springstead and Bartish have extensive experience defending federal criminal charges in West Michigan.  Moreover, all of Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, P.L.L.C.’s attorneys are rated “Superb” by AVVO and received AVVO’s Client Choice Award for 2014.  These honors make Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, P.L.L.C. one of the premier federal criminal defense law firms in West Michigan, whether your case is in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, or Lansing, Michigan.

We regularly defend cases in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan in Grand Rapids (pictured below on the left), and Kalamazoo (pictured below on the right), and in appeals before United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Grand Rapids Criminal Defense Attorneys Who Listen

At Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, P.L.L.C., our federal defense lawyers begin each case by listening carefully to our clients. This may sound trite, but experience has shown that few know the facts and circumstances of their federal case better than our clients. Listening also allows us to clearly define our client’s expectations, and then use our legal knowledge and experience to tailor an effective federal defense to facts and circumstances of our client’s case.

Zealous, Yet Professional Advocates

At Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, P.L.L.C., our criminal defense attorneys believe that being ready, willing and able to go to trial serves our clients well for several reasons. First, when we go to trial, we are fully prepared to battle every step of the way for our clients. Our Grand Rapids criminal defense attorneys do everything we can to maximize our chances of success in your federal trial. This means using our vast legal knowledge, skill, and experience to present your case to the judge or jury with passion and conviction. Second, we believe in negotiating from a position of strength. If a federal defense attorney is not prepared to go to trial then, in our opinion, he has already lost a significant amount of legal leverage. Whether or not your case goes to trial, you will know that the defense attorneys at Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, P.L.L.C. are doing everything they can to obtain the best possible result for you in your federal case.

Our Grand Rapids criminal defense attorneys’ dedication to their clients’ has resulted many federal courtroom successes over the years. This includes legal maneuvering to avoid federal charges, obtaining reduced charges, acquittals at trial, reduced federal sentences, and overturning federal sentences in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

A Hard-Hitting Team of Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys West Michigan

Springstead Bartish Borgula & Lynch, P.L.L.C. has three uniquely qualified, award-winning attorneys dedicated to federal criminal defense in West Michigan.  This gives us the flexibility to protect you and your whether you are charge with a relatively simple federal crime or a more complex white collar crime.  If you are in West Michigan and being investigated for or have been charged with a federal crime in West Michigan, call the West Michigan federal criminal defense lawyers at Springstead Bartish & Borgula Law, P.L.L.C.’s Grand Rapids office at (616) 458-5500 or our Fremont office at (231) 924-8700 or contact us online for a free consultation.


“My husband was arrested and charged with some very serious federal charges and was looking at a lot of time. Gary and his team were there all the way. He was very honest and never sugar coated things. He kept my husband informed and made sure he had realistic expectations. Gary knows his way through the system and is extremely knowledgeable. My husband was sentenced to very little time compared to what he was looking at and I am extremely grateful for the aggressive representation we received from Gary and his team. Without them my children may have grown up without their father in their lives. If you are looking for an AMAZING team to represent you or a loved one I would recommend you contact Gary Springstead.” Spouse of Federal Criminal Client, 2014, Google Reviews.

Related Resources

United States District Court for the Western District  of Michigan

U.S. Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Michigan (Grand Rapids, MI) 

Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Sentencing Law and Policy

Supreme Court of the United States Blog (SCOTUS Blog)

Sixth Circuit Blog

Red Dog Defender

Federal Bar Association for the Western District of Michigan, Grand Rapids MI


Ty Garbin Sentencing Mitigation Video

Grand Rapids, Michigan

For information, contact attorney Gary Springstead

*not intended to be relied upon and is to be used as a starting point in determining what the US Sentencing Guidelines call for as recommended sentence under the drug guidelines. If you discover any errors or improvements please email us using the contact page so we can make it as accurate as possible.