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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Medford Man Sentenced To 11 Years For Arson

MADISON, WIS. -- John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that David J. Johnson, 36, Medford, Wis., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to 11 years in federal prison for arson.  He pleaded guilty to the charge on November 7, 2014.  Johnson was also ordered to pay restitution of $154,546.18.   

In the early morning hours of February 16, 2013, Johnson intentionally started a fire in the basement area of his business, Main Street Pizza and Grill, located on Main Street in Medford, in an attempt to collect insurance money.  The building that housed the restaurant was rendered a total loss and an adjacent building was also damaged. 

At sentencing, Judge Crabb found that Johnson’s conduct had knowingly caused a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another because Johnson started the fire knowing that people lived in a neighboring building and could have been injured in the fire.  Judge Crabb also found that Johnson obstructed justice by asking two potential witnesses to lie for him.   

Johnson has prior convictions for theft, resisting or obstructing an officer, third degree sexual assault, and child abuse.             

The charge against Johnson was the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation and Office of the State Fire Marshal;  Medford Police Department; and Medford Fire Department.  The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Munish Sharda and Meredith P. Duchemin. 

Updated July 14, 2015