A Florida resident who had threatened family members over a $20,000 debt was arrested yesterday in connection with a destructive device left in June 2013 at the Seattle home of his relatives, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. SANG NGOC UNG, 53, of Margate, Florida is charged by criminal complaint with possession of a destructive device. UNG remains a suspect in the June 10, 2013 arson of a home at 3939 S. Cloverdale Street in Seattle. The fire, set in the early morning hours, extensively damaged the home and forced the homeowner, her adult children and a friend to flee through a window and the garage. Shortly after that fire, investigators went to a second home associated with the family and discovered a destructive device that had not ignited. UNG is charged with possession of that device. He will make his appearance in U.S. District Court in Seattle at 1:30 today.
According to the criminal complaint, UNG had allegedly been pressuring family members in Seattle about $20,000 he believes is owed to him. Family members had attempted to pay some of the money, but UNG reportedly continued to threaten them if the debt was not paid. In mid-May 2013, UNG arrived in the Seattle area and again began pressuring the family to repay the debt. On June 9, 2013, UNG was observed attempting to contact people at both homes. The fire and the destructive device that failed to ignite were discovered the next day. Cell phone records place UNG in the Seattle area during the time the fire and destructive device were set. Evidence on the destructive device ties him to the scene. UNG returned to the Seattle area yesterday and was arrested by Seattle Police and ATF agents.
The charges contained in the complaint are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The case is being investigated by the Seattle Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg.