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Press Release

Central Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Attempted Arson of Clinic

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

URBANA, Ill. – A Prophetstown, Illinois, man, Philip J. Buyno, 73, pleaded guilty on September 19, 2023, to attempting to use fire to damage a building used in interstate commerce. Sentencing for Buyno is scheduled for February 5, 2024, at the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Urbana, Illinois.

In court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric I. Long, Buyno admitted that, on May 20, 2023, he brought several containers filled with gasoline with him and used his car to breach the front entrance to a commercial building at 600 N. Logan Avenue in Danville, Illinois, for the purpose of burning it down before it could be used as a reproductive health clinic. During the hearing, the government stated that Danville police officers responded to an alarm at 600 N. Logan Avenue around 4:30 a.m. early that Saturday morning. When officers arrived, they found Buyno stuck inside a maroon Volkswagen Passat that he had backed into the entrance of the building, which was under renovation. During a search of the car, FBI Agents found bottles containing gasoline, a hatchet, road flares, multiple old tires, and a pack of matches. Agents also found that Buyno had fortified the trunk of the Passat with 4x4 wooden beams.

Buyno has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since May 2023, where he remains pending sentencing.

Buyno faces statutory penalties of a minimum five years up to twenty years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, three years of supervised release, and restitution for the damage caused to the building.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office, and the Danville Police Department. Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller is representing the government in the prosecution.

Updated September 20, 2023

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