News and Press Releases

DEFENDANTS SENTENCED ON ARSON CHARGES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2010

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Hugo Barrera, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, announce Friday’s sentencing of defendant Juan Gonzalez, 34, of Hallandale, Florida, for burning down Floors by Design, Inc., a carpet company in Hialeah, and conspiring to burn it down with his nephew, Wilmer Quesada-Ramos, 30, of Sunrise, Florida.

On May 28, 2010, U.S. District Judge Alan S. Gold sentenced defendant Gonzalez to 115 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Defendant Quesada-Ramos, whose sentencing hearing was a few weeks earlier, was sentenced to 70 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Gold also ordered that the defendants pay $845,502.00 in restitution.

Previously, a jury found defendants Gonzalez and Quesada-Ramos guilty of arson and conspiring to commit arson, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 844(i) and (n). According to the indictment and the testimony at trial, Floors by Design was a warehouse located at 471 West 28th Street in Hialeah. On February 4, 2009, Gonzalez and Quesada-Ramos, who worked for the company as carpet installers, purchased gasoline in Broward County, drove it to the Floors by Design warehouse, doused the warehouse with the gasoline, and set it on fire. The warehouse, and everything Floors by Design had inside, was destroyed as a result of the fire.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the State Fire Marshall, and the Hialeah Police and Fire Departments. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert J. Luck and Jared E. Dwyer.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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