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Press Release

Sanford Man Pleads Guilty to Arson at Multi-Unit Rental Property

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

PORTLAND, Maine: A Sanford man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Portland to arson, U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee announced.

According to court records, on May 5, 2021, the Sanford Fire Department responded to a fire at a multi-unit rental property located at 38 Spruce Street. Despite extensive damage, firefighters were successful in saving the structure from collapse, and the most significant damage occurred to an apartment occupied at that time by Thomas McGinn, 49. When interviewed by investigators, McGinn confessed to intentionally starting the fire using gasoline and lighter fluid as accelerants. He explained that it was his intention to “burn the building down.”

McGinn faces a period of imprisonment of not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years and a fine up to a $250,000. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in conjunction with the Sanford Police Department and the Maine State Fire Marshal’s Office, investigated the case.

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Michael J. Conley
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 780-3257

Updated September 27, 2022