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Justice News

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

Monday, February 26, 2018

Man Pleads Guilty to Arson and Malicious Damage and Destruction to Federal Property Charges Related to Fires at Three U.S. Government Facilities

St. Thomas, USVI – Spencer Wayne Allen, 26, pleaded guilty today in District Court to one count of arson and two counts of malicious damage and destruction to federal property, United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert announced.

According to the plea agreement filed with the court, on February 28, 2017, Allen maliciously damaged the U.S. Navy and Marine Recruitment Center in the Nisky Shopping Center on St. Thomas by means of fire.  As a result of the fire, the U.S. Navy and Marine Recruitment Center was completely destroyed. Also on February 28, 2017, Allen damaged by fire two other properties belonging to the United States, the Ron De Lugo Federal Building and United States Courthouse, and the U.S. Coast Guard Station. 

Sentencing for Allen is scheduled for June 28, 2018.  Allen faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on the arson count, and up to 10 years in prison on each of the two destruction of federal property counts. 

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, with the assistance of the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency, Virgin Islands Police Department, Virgin Islands Port Authority, Virgin Islands Fire Service, and the Virginia Beach Fire Department Fire Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Meredith J. Edwards and Everard E. Potter. 

Updated March 6, 2018