Man Pleads Guilty To Attempting To Destroy Las Vegas Children’s Autism Facility By Arson
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A Las Vegas man has pleaded guilty to maliciously attempting to destroy a local children’s autism learning facility by fire and explosive devices, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Samuel Powers, 24, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro to one count of arson of property and one count of possession of unregistered firearms, specifically Molotov cocktails. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 1, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. Powers, who is in federal custody on the charges, faces five to 20 years in prison on the arson charge and not more than 10 years in prison on the firearms charge, as well as a fine of up to $250,000 on each count. The government and the defendant agreed to a binding recommendation of a sentence of 10 years in prison.
According to the plea agreement, on April 15, 2013, Powers knowingly and maliciously damaged a building which housed several commercial businesses, including Sport Social, an autism facility, located at 7055 Windy Street in Las Vegas. Powers forcibly entered Sport Social with three Molotov cocktails and a gasoline container, and poured gasoline and set multiple fires inside the business. The fires caused at least $50,000 in damage to the structure and its contents. Powers also possessed two more unignited Molotov cocktails inside his vehicle at the scene of the fire. When Powers set the fires, he knew or had cause to believe that persons were inside a neighboring business, thereby creating a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to those persons.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Clark County Fire Department, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina M. Brown.