News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington

Man Who Torched Vancouver Business Under Construction Sentenced To 30 Months In Prison

Arson Set in March 2003

December 16, 2013

A 61-year old Vancouver, Washington man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 30 months in prison for conspiracy to commit arson in connection with a March 2003 fire, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.  MARK DUANE FUSTON, also known as “Mau Mau,” pleaded guilty in October 2013, to using propane and various flammable liquids to burn down the ‘Desire Video’ store that was nearing completion on NE 94th Avenue in Vancouver.  The fire destroyed the building causing some $850,000 in damage.  U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle imposed the prison sentence and three years of supervised release saying FUSTON was “an outlaw,” and had been for “way too much of (his) life.”

According to the plea agreement signed in October, FUSTON was hired to torch the building.  FUSTON and another man (now deceased) acted together to commit the arson.  On the night of March 27, 2003, FUSTON rerouted a propane line into the building and placed a remote control incendiary device intended to ignite the propane and destroy the building.  However, when the remote control device malfunctioned, FUSTON returned to the building and left a fuel trail to the building which he later ignited manually.  The fire ignited the propane trapped inside the building causing the explosion and fire.

FUSTON was indicted March 27, 2013.  A hearing will be held in February 2014 to determine the amount of restitution FUSTON must pay.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Vancouver Police Department and the Vancouver Fire Department.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gregory A. Gruber.

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