Man Arrested on Federal Arson Charge for Allegedly Setting Fire to Chicago Building

CHICAGO — A man has been arrested on a federal arson charge for allegedly setting fire to a building in Chicago last year.

An indictment returned in U.S. District Court in Chicago accuses JOSE VALDOVINOS, 32, of Cicero, Ill., of maliciously damaging and destroying a building at 4000 West 59th Street in Chicago on June 1, 2020.

Valdovinos was arrested Monday.  A detention hearing in federal court is set for Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel A. Fuentes.

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Kristen de Tineo, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives in Chicago; and David Brown, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kavitha J. Babu.

“Anyone committing crimes during the course of civil unrest should know that federal law enforcement will use every available tool to hold them accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch.  “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to work with ATF, CPD, and our other federal, state, and local partners to apprehend and charge arsonists and others engaging in violent crime.”

“ATF Special Agents will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to follow every lead related to destructive behavior during civil unrest,” said ATF SAC de Tineo.  “I appreciate the commitment from our colleagues and the U.S. Attorney in charging this case.”

The arson charge is punishable by a minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a maximum of 20 years.  The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

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