Arson suspect arrested on federal felony charges


The man who was arrested in connection with arson at Sport-Social, an autism sports facility, will now face federal felony charges, according to U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada Daniel Bogden.

Samuel Powers, 24, was picked up by Las Vegas police after witnesses saw him leaving the burning building on April 15. The fire damaged the front offices and classrooms of Sport-Social. Powers was found with a red five-gallon gasoline container, according to the initial arrest report, and there was evidence of explosive devices such as Molotov cocktails in the building.

The May 22 indictment states Powers will face charges of one count of arson and one count possession of unregistered firearms. It alleges that Powers damaged and attempted to destroy the facility with fire and explosive devices, and that he was in possession of unregistered Molotov cocktails.

Powers was arrested by federal authorities on Thursday and appeared before a judge Friday, where he pleaded not guilty to both counts.

His trial was set for July 23, and Powers was ordered detained as a flight risk and a danger to the community.

If convicted, Powers could face five to 20 years in prison on the arson charge and 10 years in prison on the unregistered firearms charge, as well as a fine of up to $250,000 per charge.

Sport-Social, located at 7055 Windy Lane, near Las Vegas Boulevard and sustained about $50,000 in damage to the building. No injuries were reported. Sport-Social reopened a week after the fire on a limited basis.

This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Clark County Fire Department.

Contact Rochel Leah Goldblatt at rgoldblatt@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0264.

 

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