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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Grand Jury Indicts Erie Man on Arson Charge for Intentional Fire at Ember + Forge Coffee Shop

ERIE, Pa. - A former resident of Erie, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Erie on a charge of malicious destruction of property by fire, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The one-count Indictment named Melquan Barnett, 28, as the sole defendant. Barnett has been ordered detained pending trial.

According to the Indictment presented to the court, Barnett set fire to the Ember + Forge building located at 401 State Street in Erie on May 30, 2020.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

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

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Erie Police Department conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Updated June 9, 2020