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Press Release

Man Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Committing Arson during Civil Unrest in Rockford in 2020

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

ROCKFORD — A man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for setting fire to a store in Rockford during a period of civil unrest in 2020.

SEAN CARDENAS, 22, of Rockford, pleaded guilty earlier this year to an arson charge.  Cardenas admitted that on May 30, 2020, he used a hammer to break the glass front doors of Burlington Coat Factory, 6260 E. State St.  Wearing a hood and mask to conceal his identity, Cardenas entered the store and used a Molotov cocktail to ignite a fire inside it.

In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Iain D. Johnston on Tuesday ordered Cardenas to pay restitution of $965,591.

The sentencing was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Kristen de Tineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica S Maveus.

Updated July 27, 2022

Violent Crime