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Press Release

Federal Indictment Charges Man With Setting Fire to Chicago Building

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

CHICAGO — A man has been indicted on a federal arson charge for allegedly using a Molotov cocktail to set fire to a building in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago.

JUAN AGUILAR, 37, of Chicago, is charged with one count of maliciously damaging and destroying a building, and one count of unlawfully possessing an improvised incendiary bomb, according to an indictment returned in U.S. District Court in Chicago.  The indictment accuses Aguilar of setting fire to a building in the 1600 block of West Cullerton Street in Chicago on Sept. 24, 2019.

Aguilar was taken into federal custody on Monday.  He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday afternoon in federal court in Chicago.  A detention hearing is set for today at 11:15 a.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kristen de Tineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives in Chicago; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason A. Julien.

The arson charge is punishable by a minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a maximum of 20 years.  The unlawful possession charge is punishable by up to ten years.  The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

Updated February 10, 2022

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime