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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Virgin Islands

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Man Arrested for Arson at The U.S. Navy and Marine Recruitment Center

St. Thomas, USVI – Spencer Wayne Allen, 25, was arrested on February 28, 2017, on a criminal complaint charging him with maliciously damaging the U.S. Navy and Marine Recruitment Center by means of fire, United States Attorney Ronald W. Sharpe announced today. The U.S. Navy and Marine Recruitment Center is located in the Nisky Shopping Center, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. Allen made his initial appearance yesterday before Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller. Today, after a preliminary hearing, the court found that there was probable cause to believe that Allen committed the offense and ordered Allen detained pending trial.

According to the complaint, the Virgin Islands Territory Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) received a 911 call for a fire at the Nisky Shopping Center in the early morning hours of February 28, 2017. The Virgin Islands Police Department and Fire Service responded to the call to find the U.S. Navy and Marine Recruitment Center engulfed in flames. As a result, the U.S. Navy and Marine Recruitment Center was completely destroyed. The Police and Fire Departments also responded to two related fires: one at the Ron De Lugo Federal Courthouse and another at the U.S. Coast Guard Station.

Arson, or maliciously damaging federal property by means of fire, carries a sentence of not less than 5 years in prison and up to a maximum term of 20 years.

The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Department of Homeland Security, with the assistance of the Virgin Islands Territory Emergency Management Agency, Virgin Islands Police Department, and the Virgin Islands Fire Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tasheika Hinson.

United States Attorney Sharpe reminds the public that a complaint is merely a formal charging document and is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Updated March 1, 2017