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Texas Fugitive Spencer Wayne Allen Faces 40 Years In Prison For Firebombing Federal Buildings In St. Thomas


CHARLOTTE AMALIE – A former Texas fugitive has admitted setting fires that destroyed a military recruiting office and damaged two other federal properties in St. Thomas.

Spencer Wayne Allen, 26, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to one count of arson and two counts of malicious damage and destruction to federal property, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.

Allen could get 40 years in prison for the admission.

According to the plea agreement filed with the court, on February 28, 2017, Allen maliciously damaged the U.S. Navy and Marine Recruitment Center in the Nisky Shopping Center on St. Thomas by means of fire.

As a result of the fire, the U.S. Navy and Marine Recruitment Center was completely destroyed.

Also on February 28, 2017, Allen damaged by fire two other properties belonging to the United States, the Ron De Lugo Federal Building and United States Courthouse, and the U.S. Coast Guard Station.

Sentencing for Allen is scheduled for June 28, 2018. Allen faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison on the arson count, and up to 10 years in prison on each of the two destruction of federal property counts.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, with the assistance of the Virgin Islands Territorial Emergency Management Agency, Virgin Islands Police Department, Virgin Islands Port Authority, Virgin Islands Fire Service, and the Virginia Beach Fire Department Fire Investigations.

It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Meredith Edwards and Everard Potter.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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