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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

News Release

San Francisco Field Division

For Immediate Release

Monday, June 18, 2018

ATF, Two Juveniles Arrested For Zion Methodist Church Arson

NORTH LAS VEGAS- Officials announced the arrest of two juveniles for their involvement in a multi-alarm fire that occurred at the Zion Methodist Church located in North Las Vegas.  The fire started at approximately 1:05 AM on June 6, 2017 and destroyed the church.  The fire resulted in $1.3 million in damages. 

The North Las Vegas Fire Department and Las Vegas Fire and Rescue responded to the fire. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the North Las Vegas Fire Department, the Clark County Fire Department, and the Henderson Fire Department conducted an examination of the fire scene and determined the fire to be an act of arson.

ATF and the North Las Vegas Fire Department conducted a yearlong investigation into the arson that led to the arrest of the juveniles responsible.  Law enforcement conducted several interviews with the community throughout the investigation.  The juveniles face charges of First Degree Arson, Conspiracy to Commit Arson, Burglary, and Conspiracy to Commit Burglary.  The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Juvenile Division of the Office of the Clark County District Attorney.  Zion Methodist Church is comprised of approximately 120 members and celebrated its 100th year as a congregation in November 2017.

“It is our duty to make this community a safe place for you and your families,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Jill Snyder.  “The safety of the public is at the core of ATF’s mission.  We take acts of arson very seriously. ATF and our partners made a commitment to bring justice to this community and we are very happy to be able to say that the parties responsible for this crime are being held accountable.”

 

"These arrests culminate a year of hard work by our department's arson investigator and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF),” said Chief Joseph 

 

Calhoun.  “Also, Las Vegas Fire & Rescue (LVFR) and Clark County Fire Department

(CCFD) were instrumental the day of the fire in assisting in the overwhelming task of sifting through the rubble for evidence.  I am very proud of everyone's hard work and dedication to this senseless and very sad crime that effected so many in our community."

 

ATF is the federal agency primarily responsible for administering and enforcing the criminal and regulatory provisions of the Federal laws pertaining to destructive devices (bombs), explosives, and arson. Over nearly 40 years, ATF has developed scientifically proven investigative capabilities, expertise, and resources that have positioned ATF as the nation’s primary source for explosives and fire investigative knowledge and assistance.

 

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Field Division: San Francisco Field Division