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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Wisconsin
Gregory J. Haanstad, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, January 27, 2023

Milwaukee Man Sentenced to Five Years in Federal Prison for Kenosha Arson

United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad of the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that on January 27, 2023, United States District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller sentenced Esmond King (age: 33) to 60 months in federal prison for arson of a building used in interstate commerce, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 844(i). King, who entered a guilty plea to the offense last year, also will spend three years on supervised release following his prison term and will be required to pay over $271,000 in restitution related to the property damage caused by his offense.

According to court filings, King broke into Mary’s Beauty Salon in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the early morning of September 11, 2021. While inside, King used a combustible aerosol to ignite a fire inside the office within the salon. Officers arrested King as he exited the salon and brought him to the Kenosha Police Department for processing. The Kenosha Fire Department responded to the scene and was able to extinguish the fire. However, the fire and smoke had damaged not only significant portions of the salon but also businesses that shared the same building. While King was being taken into custody, he threatened to kill officers and their families.

“There is no excuse for the reckless and wanton destruction of property of innocent citizens and business owners,“ stated U.S. Attorney Haanstad. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office remains committed to working with our law enforcement and community partners to protect all who live and work in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.”

“The investigation and prosecution of this individual as well as the sentence imposed illustrates the seriousness of this crime,” said Acting ATF Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Filed Division Jeffrey L. Matthews. “ATF stands shoulder to shoulder with our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s office to ensure those responsible are held accountable.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) Chicago Field Division investigated the case, assisted by the Kenosha Police Department and Kenosha Fire Department and it was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter Smyczek.

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