News and Press Releases

Bovard Man Admits Setting Fire At Army National Guard Facility In Ross Township

January 9, 2012

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Westmoreland County, Penn., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of setting fire to a facility used by the Pennsylvania Army National Guard's A Company, 28th Signal Corp Battalion, located at 100 Valley High Drive in Ross Township, Penn., United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Derek A. Secrist, 29, of Bovard, Penn., pleaded guilty to one count before Chief United States District Judge Gary L. Lancaster.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that, on the night of Nov. 18, 2005, Secrist set fire to the building.  At the time of the fire, Secrist was a staff sergeant at that facility.  The building was not occupied at the time of the fire.

Judge Lancaster scheduled sentencing for May 11, 2012, at 9:30 a.m.  The law provides for a total sentence of 25 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Shaun E. Sweeney is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Secrist.

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