For Immediate Release
Friday, September 21, 2018
, United States Attorney
Maria Chapa Lopez
Contact: William Daniels
Arson Conspirator Sentenced To Federal Prison
Tampa Field Division
Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew today sentenced Rashica Shaguana Ford (39, Sarasota) to nine years and two months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit arson. A federal jury found Ford guilty on June 8, 2018.
Ford’s co-conspirators, Jodarin Marquis Whitfield and Herbert Adelphus Pinckney, previously pleaded guilty for their roles in this case. Whitfield was sentenced to eight years and three months in federal prison. Pinckney was sentenced to two years and six months in federal prison.
According to testimony presented at trial, in the early morning hours of March 11, 2015, Whitfield and Pinckney set fire to an individual’s home by attempting to throw a Molotov cocktail through the victim’s bedroom window. In addition to the homeowner, one adult and six children were inside the home at the time of the arson. The Molotov cocktail did not break the window and only damaged the exterior of the home. All occupants of the home escaped safely.
The arson was orchestrated by Ford (Whitfield’s girlfriend/Pinckney’s sister) as retaliation stemming from an altercation between Ford and the victim.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Bureau of Fire, Arson and Explosives Investigations; the Bradenton Police Department; the Bradenton Fire Department; the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office; and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carlton C. Gammons.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. In October 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorneys’ Offices to develop districtwide crime reduction strategies, incorporating the lessons learned since the program’s inception in 2001. In the Middle District of Florida, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez coordinates PSN efforts in cooperation with various federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.