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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 3, 2016

Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Commit Arson

William Antonio Parks Was Apprehended After Being a Fugitive for Four Years

ABINGDON, VIRGINIA – A Dundalk, Maryland, man who had been a fugitive for four years before being apprehended in Florida, pled guilty yesterday in Federal Court to conspiring to commit arson, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. announced.

William Antonion Parks, 26, pled guilty yesday in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon to one count of conspiring to destroy, by fire, a motor vehicle.  On October 9, 2011, Parks and two other men, James Robert Gurganus and Jeremiah D. Lawson, set fire and destroyed a vehicle in Lee County, Virginia.  Gurganus and Lawson pled guilty and were sentenced several years ago.  Parks fled after the fire and had been at large until his arrest in Florida by agents of the United States Marshal’s Service in March of this year. 

“This individual not only put others at risk by committing arson and destroying a motor vehicle, but he also felt he could flee from justice,” Unite States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. said today. “I am grateful to our law enforcement partners both here in Virginia and in Florida who continued to search for this defendant and ultimately held him accountable for his criminal actions.”

United States District Judge James P. Jones scheduled sentencing for August 30, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. Parks faces a mandatory sentence of imprisonment for a term of not less than five years and no more than twenty years and a fine of up to $250,000.

The investigation of the case was conducted by the Bristol Office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.  Special Assistant United States Attorney Albert Mayer and Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer prosecuted the case for the United States.  

Updated June 3, 2016