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Press Release

Gettysburg Man Charged With Malicious Attempt To Destroy Building By Fire And Explosive

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Samson Paul Yohe, age 28, of  Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was indicted on February 5, 2020, by a federal grand jury with malicious attempt to destroy building by fire and explosive and possession of an unregistered firearm (destructive device).

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, on December 22, 2019, it is alleged that Yohe threw an incendiary device, commonly referred to as a Molotov cocktail, through the window of the Adams County Courthouse. The device consisted of an antique yellow bottle filled with liquid and a cotton sock used as a wick, which was lit prior to throwing.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Gettysburg Borough Police, the Adams County Detective Bureau, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, and the Adams County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daryl F. Bloom and Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian Sinnett are prosecuting the case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce crime.

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 total maximum penalty under federal law for these offenses is 50 years of 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 February 6, 2020

Project Safe Neighborhoods