News and Press Releases

Federal Jury Finds Payette Man Guilty of Conspiracy, Arson, Theft

October 16, 2012

Used Molotov Cocktails to Destroy Government Vehicles and Building in Payette, Idaho

BOISE –U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced today that Donovan James Bolen, 22, of Payette, Idaho, was convicted this afternoon in federal court of carrying and using firearms – Molotov cocktails – during and in relation to a federal crime of violence, conspiracy to maliciously use explosive materials, conspiracy to maliciously damage federal property, and theft of firearms. Sentencing has been set for January 23, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Boise. Bolen faces a minimum term of 35 years up to life in prison, a maximum fine of $1,760,000, and up to 26 years of supervised release.

During the five day trial, the jury heard evidence that on May 27, 2011, Bolen and his co-defendant, David Joseph Vonbargen, schemed to set fires in Payette to divert law enforcement while they broke into the World’s Largest Pawn Shop and stole firearms. The jury found Bolen guilty of using Molotov cocktails to set fire to two U.S. Department of Agriculture vehicles and a lumber warehouse belonging to Western Core Door, Inc., in Payette, and then burglarized and stole 12 firearms, including rifles, revolvers, and pistols, from the World’s Largest Pawnshop in Fruitland, Idaho.

On September 12, 2012, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging Bolen and co-defendant David Joseph Vonbargen, 50, of Fruitland, Idaho. A trial date for Vonbargen has not yet been set.

The case was investigated by the Fruitland Police Department, the Payette Police Department, the Payette County Sheriff's Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Idaho State Fire Marshal.