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Tag: arson

Veteran ATF Agent, Wife Dead in Shooting Possibly Motivated by Domestic Problems

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A veteran ATF agent and his wife are dead following a shooting at a home in Chantilly, Va., CBS-DC reports.

Killed were 46-year-old Paul Parisi and his wife, 47-year-old Jannine Parisi, who were found in their home after a report of gunshots just after 5 a.m.

Police have not yet divulged details but said the shooting was domestic-related.

Not injured were two teenage girls inside the home.

According to CBSDC, Paul Parisi worked with ATF since 1993 and was most recently a special agent assigned to the Washington Field Division in the arson and explosives division.

His wife taught physical education at a middle school, CBSDC reported.

FBI Probes Whether Domestic Terrorism Behind Fire at Mayor’s Law Office

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether a fire at the private law office of Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis in California was an act of domestic terrorism, reports NBC Bay Area.

Vallejo Fire Chief Paige Meyer said the early Saturday morning blaze looks “very suspicious,” NBC Bay Area reported.

The city called in the FBI and ATF to investigate, and both are treating the fire as possible terrorism, according to the NBC Bay Area.

Investigators are hoping that a surveillance video across the street from the building will shed light on the fire’s origins.

Baltimore Co. Man Gets 8 Years for Threatening to Kill an ATF Task Force Officer

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Baltimore County man was sentenced to eight years on Tuesday for threatening to kill an ATF  task force officer, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore said. After prison, Allen Shepperd, 38, will be on supervised release for three years.

According to Shepperd’s plea agreement, the Baltimore County Police Department and ATF identified Shepperd as a primary suspect in the arson of a horse barn that had burned down in Monkton, Md. on Aug. 26, 2010.

On March 8, 2011, a Baltimore County detective and an ATF Task Force officer went to the Baltimore County Detention Center where Shepperd had been detained to serve a state indictment on Shepperd, charging him with arson, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Shepperd became very agitated and said he would shoot the ATF task force officer in the head, and when he got out of jail he would meet the officer at restaurant and neither of them would come out alive.

Shepperd held his hand up, imitating a pistol, and pointed it directly at the ATF officer.

Investigators also had recordings of Shepperd telling an  individual and his father in which he repeated the threats, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

 

Suburban Chicago Fire May Have Hid Murder of Four

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A fire at a suburban Chicago home may have been used to hide the murder of four people in the house, ATF agents have told the Associated Press.

A woman and three young relatives were found dead by gunshot in the home, presumably shot before the blaze began, according to the AP, possibly by a distraught boyfriend of the woman. Names are not yet being released of the perpetrator or the victims

Investigators believe the man shot the four early Tuesday, set the house on fire and then drove to another suburb, then turned his gun on himself, committing suicide.

A neighbor, Ann Bendera, described the family as friendly, often seeing them playing with the family dog in the front yard, and was shocked by the incident.

To read more click here.

FBI, ATF Join Abortion Clinic Arson Investigation in Fla.

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Federal investigators are looking into a suspicious early-Sunday blaze at a Florida abortion clinic which has seen violence in the past, reports the Associated Press.

The fire occurred at American Family Planning in the panhandle town of Pensacola, Fla. this weekend and  largely destroyed the two-story building, but no people were injured, Lt. Kevin Fiedor of the state fire marshal’s office told the AP.

The ATF and the FBI plan to join the investigation, Fiedor said. It is unknown what started the fire, which began in dry vegetation around the outside of the building. It burned underneath the building, spreading up its sides and into the attic.

“It burned for a prolonged period of time,” Fiedor said. “It was a very foggy night and the smoke blended in well with the fog.”

To read more click here.

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Arsonist Sentenced in Post-Obama Election Burning of Black Church

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Massachusetts man was sentenced to nearly 14 years for a 2010 arson incident, according to a statement from the FBI.

Michael Jacques, a 27-year-old of Springfield, Mass., was sentenced to 166 months in federal prison in connection with the arson of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ in Springfield, a predominately African-American church, according to the statement, hours after Barack Obama was elected president. The prison term will be followed by four years of supervised release, and Jacques was also ordered to pay $1.6 million in restitution, including $123,570 directly to the church.

The church was 75 percent complete, and the fire destroyed nearly everything, authorities said.

Jacques was found guilty in April of this year of conspiracy against civil rights, damage or destruction of religious property and use of fire to commit a felony. Benjamin Haskell and Thomas Gleason, Jacques’ co-conspirators, plead guilty to charges in 2010. Haskell was sentenced to nine years, while Gleason is set for sentencing in January.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST:

 

Scott Sweetow Named Head of ATF’s Atlanta Division

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Scott Sweetow, who began his career with ATF in 1990 in Los Angeles, has been named special agent in charge of the agency’s Atlanta division.

Sweetow spent several years assigned in the Arson and Explosives group, and served as a Certified Explosives Specialist. His duties included being part of ATF’s elite National Response Team, which investigated such high-profile crimes as the Oklahoma City bombing and the Centennial Olympic Park bombings.

He also spent several years working criminal intelligence matters, including a weapons case targeting the “The Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman’s one time driver and bodyguard, Hikmat Alharahshah.

Specifically, in 1999, Sweetow became a supervisory special agent in the Phoenix Field Division, serving in operations and as violent crime enforcement group supervisor.

In 2003, he went to ATF headquarters where he served in the Policy Development and Evaluation branch, eventually becoming its chief. In July of that year, he became the first ATF agent to “deploy operationally to Iraq”, assisting the Defense Intelligence Agency as part of the Iraq Survey Group.

In 2004, Sweetow was promoted to a deputy division chief and later chief in the Arson, Explosives and International Training Division in ATF’s Training and Professional Development directorate. He remained there until  December 2006.

While division chief, Sweetow was instrumental in establishing ATF’s $50 million National Center for Explosives Training and Research at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama.

In January 2007, Sweetow became an Assistant Special Agent in Charge in the Atlanta Field Division. This month, he was named the SAC in Atlanta.

He has a bachelor’s degree in Russian and Soviet Area Studies and a masters in Strategic Intelligence. He is a graduate of Harvard University’s Senior Executives in National and International Security program.

In 2009, Scott he  published an article in “Homeland Security Today” entitled “After Mumbai: Facing the Flames” which dealt with the use of fire as an asymmetric warfare tool by terrorists.

Fed Judge Rules Out Death Penalty in Cleveland Arson that Killed 9

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Citing mentally disabled issues, a federal judge in Cleveland has taken the death penalty off the table in an upcoming trial of a man accused in the arson death of eight children and one adult, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr. ruled last week that a low IQ and a history of cognitive and behavioral problems was enough to put the kabosh on capital punishment in the case against Antun Lewis, 27, who faces trial on Jan. 5, the Plain Dealer reported.

Lewis was charged with breaking into a multi-family home at about 3 a.m. on May 21, 2005, and pouring gasoline on the floor before lighting it ablaze, the paper reported. The group of children were at the house for a sleepover.

Lewis had insisted he is innocent.