Monday, March 23, 2015

Man Indicted in Connection with June 2014 Arson at Sheridan County Attorney's Office

SHERIDAN, Wyo. — Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Luke Franey, of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Denver Field Division, SAC Thomas Ravenelle, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Denver Field Division,  Chief Richard Adriaens of the Sheridan Police Department; and Chief Terry Lenhart of the Sheridan Fire Department today announced the indictment of Joel Elliott of Sheridan, Wyo., in connection with the June 4, 2014 arson at the Sheridan County Attorney’s Office.

On June 4, 2014, at approximately 4:30 a.m., the Sheridan Fire and Police departments responded to a fire at the Sheridan County Attorney’s Office, 148 South Brooks Street, Sheridan, Wyo.  Investigators determined the fire was intentionally set. After months of investigation, on March 19, 2015, Elliott was indicted by a federal grand jury on the following counts:

Count 1: 18 USC 844(f)(1) and (f)(2) Arson of Building Receiving Federal Funds

Count 2: 18 USC 924(c)(1)(A) and (B)(ii) Using a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence

Count 3: 18 USC 844(h)(1) Using Fire or an Explosion to Commit a Felony

Count 4: 26 USC 5861(d) Possession of an Unregistered Firearm

Count 5: 18 U.S.C. § 1623(a) False Declaration Before Grand Jury.

“The alleged conduct in this case indicates a blatant disregard for the safety of our community,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Luke Franey. “ATF and our partners are committed to pursuing and bringing to justice those who commit acts of arson, and illegally use explosives and firearms.”

“The Sheridan Police Department teams diligently with local and federal agencies to preserve the safety of our community by investigating and assisting in the prosecution of all criminal activity.” said Chief Richard Adriaens of the Sheridan Police Department.

“The FBI is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate violent crimes of this nature that threaten our communities,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Ravenelle.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.

This incident was investigated by the ATF Cheyenne Field Office, FBI Cheyenne Field Office, Sheridan Police Department, and the Sheridan Fire Department. The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Wyoming.

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