BOSTON – A former West Harwich man was sentenced today for attempting to recruit two homeless men to burn a West Harwich residence and then attempting to tamper with the witnesses of the criminal case.
Benjamin Parker, 29, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole to six years in prison and three years of supervised release. In March, Parker pleaded guilty to attempted arson, attempted kidnaping, and attempted witness tampering.
In September 2011, Parker solicited two homeless Boston men to burn residential rental property in West Harwich. The men immediately notified the authorities and then assisted in the ensuing investigation. Parker provided the men with materials to set the fire and explained when and how he wanted it started. Parker was arrested later that weekend.
In March 2012, Parker was charged with the attempted arson in federal court. He was released on conditions and was scheduled to plead guilty in July 2013. However, in June 2013 he traveled to Hartford, Conn. in violation of his conditions of release and attempted to hire a member of the Latin Kings street gang to kidnap and hold the men he had solicited to commit the arson. The individual Parker approached reported Parker’s activities to authorities and, like the two Boston men, assisted with the investigation. Parker was arrested on June 24, 2013 in upstate New York, where he was living with his family as part of his conditions of release.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Daniel J. Kumor, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Boston Field Division; Chief Paul MacMillan of the MBTA Police Department; Boston Police Commissioner William Evans; Stephen D. Coan, State Fire Marshal; Harwich Police Chief William Mason; and Hartford Police Chief David A. Groves, made the announcement today.