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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Two Charged In Incident That Destroyed Property

Jeremy Scalf, Christopher Sons Charged In Four Count Indictment

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA -- A Federal grand jury sitting in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon has returned a four-count indictment charging a pair of Gate City residents with arson and destruction of government property charges following an incident in Jefferson National Forest.

The grand jury as charged Jeremy D. Scalf, 26, of Gate City, Va., with one count of arson of government property, one count of arson within territorial jurisdiction and two counts of destruction of government property. Christopher Lee Sons, 24, also of Gate City, Va., was charged with one count of destruction of government property.

According to the indictment, on or about May 25, 2011, Scalf, Sons, and others, were in the Jefferson National Forest. During his time, the indictment alleges that Scalf and Sons pulled a metal gate out of the ground, destroying it. Scalf allegedly then set fire to an information kiosk at the trail head of Little Stoney Falls.

At sentencing, Scalf faces a maximum possible penalty of between 5-20 years in prison for the arson of government property charge, up to 25 years in prison for the arson within territorial jurisdiction charge and up to 10 years in prison for each of the destruction of government property charges.

Sons faces a maximum possible penalty of up to 10 years in prison for the destruction of government property charges.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Forest Service and the Scott County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Bockhorst will prosecute the case for the United States.

A Grand Jury indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial with the burden on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated April 15, 2015