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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 11, 2016

Man Sentenced To 49 Months For Possessing Molotov Cocktails

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

 BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that William Lovell Smith, 48, of Buffalo, New York, who was convicted of receiving and possessing aa destructive device, that is, Molotov cocktails, was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 49 months by United States District Court Judge William M. Skretny.  This term of imprisonment, which will be followed by a term of 3 years supervised release, also included restitution in the amount of $70,000, to be paid to the victim.  This sentence was the result of the defendant pleading guilty to a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 5861(d).

 Assistant United States Attorney Joel L. Violanti, who handled the case, stated the defendant assisted in manufacturing at least two (2) Molotov cocktails.  Molotov cocktails are devices generally consisting of glass bottles filled with gasoline around which are placed a fuse or method of ignition, and are designed to ignite and burn upon breaking.  The particular devices were used on November 1, 2011, for the purpose of burning an occupied dwelling on Schreck Avenue, Buffalo, New York.

 The successful prosecution was the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) under the direction of Special Agent in Charge, Delano A. Reid, and the Buffalo Fire Investigation Unit under the direction of Buffalo Fire Commissioner Garnell Whitfield.

Updated August 12, 2016