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Press Release

Grand Coulee Man Indicted for Setting Fire at Teamsters Building in Spokane

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Washington

Spokane – Today, William D. Hyslop, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced the Indictment of Peter James Yeager, 45, of Grand Coulee, Washington, in connection with arson at the Teamsters Building in Spokane, Washington. The Indictment charges Defendant Yeager with Damage by Fire to a Building Used in Interstate and Foreign Commerce, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 844(i).

According to state court documents, on or about December 9, 2020, Yeager, drove from his home in Grand Coulee to Spokane with a preconceived plan to burn down the office of the Spokane County Democrats, located at 1912 North Division Street, Suite 100, Spokane, Washington, in the Teamsters Building. Yeager entered the building and told multiple individuals he encountered that he had a “bomb.” Although Yeager had fashioned miscellaneous items in such a way that it would appear he possessed an explosive device, Yeager was determined to not actually possess a completed “bomb.” Yeager did, however, possess gasoline, oil, a roll of toilet paper, and a camping lighter, which he had brought with him. Using paper he had located in the hallway, along with the gasoline, oil, toilet paper, and lighter, Yeager is alleged to have started a fire within the internal office of the Spokane County Democrats, which resulted in damage to multiple offices in the Teamsters Building.

United States Attorney Hyslop said, “Endangering others in this manner and starting this fire must be addressed. Damage by fire to a building used in interstate commerce is a federal crime. If proved, it is punishable by a minimum 5-year term of imprisonment up to a 20-year term of imprisonment; a $250,000 fine; and a 3-year term of court supervision following any term of imprisonment.”

Earl D. Camp, Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge, Seattle Field Office, said, “Operating 24 hours a day, joint terrorism task forces gather the resources, skills, and information of various federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to safeguard our communities. The Inland Northwest Joint Terrorism Task Force’s swift actions, especially by our partners at Spokane Police Department, averted an already hazardous situation from spiraling dangerously out of control.”

The charge and allegations contained in an Indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Independent charges have also been filed by the Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Spokane Police Department, with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Explosive Disposal Unit, which is a joint effort of the Spokane Police Department and the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, and the Spokane Fire Department. This case is being prosecuted by Dominique Juliet Park, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

Updated January 5, 2021