Gladstone Woman Charged in Arson-for-Hire Attempt of KC Business
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Gladstone, Mo., woman was charged in federal court today with attempting to hire an arsonist to destroy her commercial building in Kansas City, Mo., which contained several businesses.
Mia Lee Jamison, 67, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., with one count of the attempted malicious destruction of property. Jamison remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing.
According to an affidavit filed in support of today’s federal criminal complaint, Jamison met an undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives on Tuesday, April 23. She allegedly offered to pay the undercover agent $150,000 to burn her commercial building. Mia Plaza is located near the corner of 39th Street and Bell Avenue in Kansas City. Three businesses currently operate at that location – 39th World of Spirits (a liquor and grocery store), Bob Wasabi Kitchen (a sushi bar), and Sahara Sheesha Lounge (a hookah lounge).
Jamison allegedly told the undercover agent that she was going to be losing ownership of the building. She had a $1.6 million insurance policy on the building, which she told the undercover agent was worth more than the value of the building. Jamison wanted the fire to look like an accident, the affidavit says, and the undercover agent agreed to set the fire between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. to limit the risk to the tenants.
The next day, on Wednesday, April 24, Jamison again met the undercover agent at her residence. They drove to the bank together and then to her building. Jamison allegedly paid the undercover agent $3,500 upfront; the rest would be paid after she collected her insurance money. According to the affidavit, Jamison told the undercover agent that she had previously discussed burning her building down with another potential arsonist, but then decided to find someone else.
On Friday, April 26, Jamison allegedly told the undercover agent she needed her building burned before Monday because she discovered she would no longer own her building after that day due to an ongoing civil lawsuit. She told the agent she would be willing to pay more money than the original agreement, the affidavit says, because she was accelerating the date to destroy the building.
On Sunday, April 28, Jamison met with the undercover agent for the last time. She allegedly told the undercover agent that she had removed the video surveillance cameras at the building in preparation for the fire.
Investigators recorded all of the meetings between Jamison and the undercover agent by either audio or video recording equipment, or both. At approximately 4 a.m. today, investigators contacted Jamison at her residence to conduct a ruse interview. Following the interview, they told Jamison her building had not actually been damaged by a fire and was still standing, and placed her under arrest.
The charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Trey Alford. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.