Las Vegas Man Faces Federal Arson Charges For Allegedly Setting Fire To A U.S. Courthouse
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A Las Vegas resident has been arrested and charged for allegedly setting fire to the Foley Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, announced U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Patrick Gorman of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (San Francisco Field Division), and U.S. Marshal Gary Schofield.
“Our office is heartened by the public’s help in identifying the defendant,” said U.S. Attorney Trutanich. “We’re likewise grateful for our law enforcement partners’ efforts to investigate this case, and we will continue working closely with them to hold accountable individuals who seek to damage or destroy public property, including symbols of justice such as federal courthouses.”
“ATF takes every act of violence, including arson, very seriously,” said Special Agent in Charge Gorman. “Arson poses a threat to the community, as the path of an intentionally set fire often leads to incredible destruction. We are thankful for the public response, which helped us identify the suspect.”
“Protecting the federal judiciary is a primary duty of the U.S. Marshals Service,” said Marshal Schofield. “We do so with the ongoing unified approach by law enforcement, as was demonstrated in this case.”
Marty Clark, 32, of Las Vegas, has been charged in a federal criminal complaint with one count of arson and one count of malicious damage to federal property. He made his initial appearance on December 18, 2020 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach, who scheduled a preliminary hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Elayna Youchah for January 4, 2021.
The criminal complaint alleges that, on November 7, 2020, Clark intentionally set fire to the Foley Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse, located in downtown Las Vegas. According to the complaint, at approximately 3:20 a.m., Clark poured gasoline on wood framing at the building’s front entrance and set fire to the framing.
After observing flames inside the courthouse lobby, a security officer exited the building and saw Clark outside carrying a gasoline can. The security officer ordered Clark to “stop,” and attempted to detain him. Clark refused, stating “it’s my right to protest.” The security officer then tried to stop Clark from fleeing the scene, which resulted in an altercation. During the altercation, Clark dropped the gasoline can he had been holding and his glasses flew off his face. Clark was able to get into his vehicle and drive away, abandoning the gasoline can and leaving his glasses. The security officer was able to take photographs of Clark and his vehicle as he drove off.
Clark was identified after law enforcement received a tip from the public, and a DNA match was identified based on a swab taken from the glasses Clark left at the courthouse. He was arrested on December 16, 2020. If convicted, Clark faces a statutory mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a statutory maximum penalty of twenty years in prison.
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct for purposes of establishing probable cause, not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
The case was investigated by ATF, Las Vegas Fire and Rescue, U.S. Marshals Service, FBI, Federal Protective Service, and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department All-Hazard Regional Multi-Agency Response Section. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa Cartier-Giroux and Stephanie Ihler are prosecuting the case.