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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Additional Charges Filed Against Plains Township Man Indicted For Firebombing The Luzerne County Children And Youth Office Building

SCRANTON - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment on October 2, 2018, charging Phillip Finn, Jr, age 48, of Plains Township, Pennsylvania, with interstate communications and using fire to commit a felony. 

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the superseding indictment charges Finn with using his email account to send a Luzerne County caseworker threatening emails between March 4, 2017 and March 5, 2017.  It also alleges that on March 6, 2017, Finn used three Molotov cocktails to firebomb the Luzerne County Children and Youth Services building in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, to commit the felony of stalking.    

On July 11, 2017, Finn was indicted on charges of stalking, interstate communications and malicious damage to federal property by fire.  The indictment alleged that between March 3, 2017 and March 6, 2017, Finn used Facebook, Google and his cell phone to engage in a course of conduct, to harass and intimidate two Luzerne County Children and Youth Services employees.  The superseding indictment added the charge of use of fire to commit a felony and an additional count of interstate communication.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Wilkes-Barre City Police Department and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny P. Roberts is prosecuting the case.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

The combined maximum penalty under federal law for these offenses is life imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

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Updated October 4, 2018