DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Illinois

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, November 8, 2022
John R. Lausch, Jr.
, United States Attorney

Federal Indictment Charges Rockford Man With Arson

ROCKFORD — A Rockford man was indicted today by a federal grand jury on charges of arson for allegedly setting fire to two buildings in Rockford, Ill.

MARZAVIOUS THOMAS, 27, of Rockford, was charged with two counts of maliciously damaging and destroying, and attempting to damage and destroy, by means of fire, two churches, both located on East State Street in Rockford, on or about October 19, 2022.

According to the indictment, on October 19, 2022, Thomas ignited a fire at two different churches. Following an investigation by law enforcement, Thomas was taken into custody and subsequently charged.

The charge was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Jeffrey L. Matthews, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. The Rockford Police Department and Rockford Fire Department assisted in the investigation. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica S. Maveus.

The charge of maliciously damaging and destroying, and attempting to damage and destroy, by means of fire, real and personal property, carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years in prison and a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, in addition to a fine of up to $250,000. If convicted, the court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal sentencing statutes and the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Chicago Field Division