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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Erie Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Setting Fire that Destroyed Erie Furniture Company

ERIE, Pa. - A former resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 10 years in jail on his conviction of malicious destruction of property by fire, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

United States District Judge David S. Cercone imposed the sentence on Tony Crawford, 35.

According to information presented to the court, in the early morning hours of February 5, 2016, authorities were alerted to a raging fire at Fred’s Bed’s and Furniture located about six blocks south of the federal courthouse in Erie.  The building was completely destroyed within minutes.  Investigators quickly determined that the fire was an arson after surveillance video from the area depicted an individual carrying a ladder to the store and then running away from the store once the fire started.  Ultimately, attention turned to Crawford after several people came forward to reveal that Crawford had talked about setting the Fred's Beds fire.  The ATF then conducted an analysis of Crawford's cell phone location that placed Crawford's phone in close proximity to Fred's Beds at the time of the fire. 

Assistant United States Attorney Christian A. Trabold prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Brady commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Erie Police Department and the Erie Fire Department for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Crawford.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Updated December 10, 2019