For Immediate Release
Midvale Man Sentenced for Arson of West Valley City Apartment Building
SALT LAKE CITY – Luis Fernando Bueso Romero, 23, of Midvale, was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison for the arson of a West Valley City apartment building yesterday in United States District Court.
In the plea agreement, Bueso-Romero admitted that on February 1, 2020, he set fire to the Overlook Point Apartments located at 4612 South and 2930 West in West Valley City, Utah. Bueso-Romero admitted that he poured gasoline on the building and then ignited the gasoline with fire, causing the building containing eight apartments to catch fire and become engulfed in flames, which caused several residents to flee their homes. In documents filed with the court, Bueso admitted that he set fire to the apartment buildings because of the sense of betrayal that he felt towards his ex-girlfriend who had recently left him, and who occupied one of the Overlook Point Apartments at the time the arson occurred.
In addition to the 60 months sentence in federal prison, Bueso-Romero has been ordered to pay $885,335.95 dollars in restitution to victims of his crime and to serve three years of supervised release if he is not deported to Honduras upon his release.
“Arson is a serious crime that endangers the lives of innocent victims living inside of the buildings as well as the safety of the firefighters who are responsible for responding to the fire,” said Acting United States Attorney Andrea T. Martinez. “Federal and local fire investigators are extremely skilled at uncovering the sources and persons responsible for these acts and our hope is that the five-year federal prison sentenced handed down in this case will deter future arsons in our community.”
“This arson posed an extreme danger to the many innocent lives at the West Valley City apartment building, first responders and neighboring communities,” said ATF Special Agent-in-Charge David S. Booth. “Many lost their homes, treasured belongings, and sense of safety and security in their homes that day. We hope this sentencing brings a sense of justice, closure and peace to the many victims who are still recovering from this tragedy today.”
Assistant United States Attorneys from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Utah prosecuted this matter along with Special Agents and Investigators from the ATF, Patrol Officers and Detectives from the West Valley City Police Department, and Investigators from the West Valley City Fire Department, who conducted the investigation. The West Valley City Fire Department and the Unified Fire Department responded to the fire and conducted the suppression operations.