Feds Name Texas Fugitive Spencer Wayne Allen As Firebomber Who Destroyed Navy Recruiting Office In St. Thomas
CHARGED: Spencer Wayne Allen, a Texas fugitive from justice.
CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A 25-year-old native of the U.S. mainland has been charged in the firebombing of federal buildings in St. Thomas that has rocked this tiny American territory.
Spencer Wayne Allen, 25, of Texas was arrested on Tuesday on a criminal complaint charging him with maliciously damaging the U.S. Navy and Marine Recruitment Center by means of fire, U.S. Attorney Ronald Sharpe said today.
The U.S. Navy and Marine Recruitment Center is located in the Nisky Shopping Center, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas.
Allen made his initial appearance yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller.
Today, after a preliminary hearing, the court found that there was probable cause to believe that Allen committed the offense and ordered Allen detained pending trial, Sharpe said.
According to the complaint, the Virgin Islands Territory Emergency Management Agency (VITEMA) received a 911 call for a fire at the Nisky Shopping Center in the early morning hours of February 28, 2017.
The Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) and Virgin Islands Fire Services responded to the call to find the U.S. Navy and Marine Recruitment Center engulfed in flames.
As a result, the U.S. Navy and Marine Recruitment Center was completely destroyed.
The Police and Fire Departments also responded to two related fires: one at the Ron De Lugo Federal Courthouse and another at the U.S. Coast Guard Station.
Arson, or maliciously damaging federal property by means of fire, carries a sentence of not less than five years in prison and up to a maximum term of 20 years.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Department of Homeland Security, with the assistance of the VITEMA, Virgin Islands Police Department, and the Virgin Islands Fire Service.
It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tasheika Hinson, who added that Allen has been in trouble with the law since the age of 16.
Sharpe said that a criminal complaint is merely a formal charging document and is not in and of itself evidence of guilt.
“Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty,” he said.