Fourth Defendant Pleads Guilty To Damaging U.S. Courthouse During May 2020 Protest In Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, Nev. — A fourth defendant has pleaded guilty to causing damage to the Foley Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Chiou for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse for the FBI, and U.S. Marshal Gary Schofield.
According to court documents, Alejandro Avalos, 28, of Las Vegas, participated in a protest on the evening of May 30, 2020 — in front of the federal buildings in downtown Las Vegas — following the May 25th death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. During the protest, fireworks were set off, walls were spray painted with obscenities and graffiti, and small bushes were lit on fire. Avalos and others went to the east entrance of the Foley Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, threw paint on the windows, and kicked and struck the windows with objects. Video surveillance footage at the courthouse, as well as social media videos, showed Avalos striking the building’s windows with a metal bar and breaking at least one window.
Avalos pleaded guilty to one count of depredation against property of the United States. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey on August 9, 2021. Avalos faces a statutory maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In addition to Avalos, three other individuals - Reginald Lewis, 20; Kelton K. Simon, 35; and Alexander Kostan, 22; all of Las Vegas - have pleaded guilty to one count of depredation against property of the United States and await sentencing. A fifth individual, Keion Joe'l Cherry, 25, has been charged with one count of depredation against property of the United States and awaits a preliminary hearing in June 2021. A sixth individual, Jeanette R. Wallace, 35, of Las Vegas, is charged with one count of depredation against property of the United States and awaits a jury trial scheduled for August 2021.
A complaint or an indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
These cases are the product of an investigation by the FBI’s Las Vegas Violent Crimes Task Force and LVMPD. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa Cartier-Giroux and Kimberly Sokolich are prosecuting the cases.