ATF

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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

ATF News
For Immediate Release:
Date:

February 17, 2000

Contact:

Bart McEntire

ATF Resident Agent in Charge

Roanoke, VA

540-857-2300


SUSPECT ARRESTED IN VMI ARSON

Roanoke,

VA - Patrick D. Hynes, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Washington

Field Division, Lt. Col. Darrell E. Stilwell, Director Bureau of Criminal

Investigations, Virginia State Police and Robert P. Crouch, United States

Attorney, Western Judicial District of Virginia announced the arrest of

John Daniel Payne, a former cadet, for Arson.

On May

2, 1998 a fire was intentionally set in the cadet barracks room within

the Virginia Military Institute, a registered "National Historic Landmark".

Although the building was occupied no injuries were reported. The fire

was set subsequent to expulsion of six cadets by the VMI Honor Court for

hazing violations. The entire VMI Corps of Cadets was informed of the

Honor Court expulsion "drum out" at 3:30 a.m. Shortly thereafter, the

fire was reported. A quick response by VMI cadets resulted in the extinguishing

of the fire before it could spread throughout the barracks.

The

Virginia State Police, ATF and the United States Attorney investigated

this fire and presented their findings to the Federal Grand Jury in Roanoke,

who issued an indictment for Arson and Obstruction of Justice against

Payne.

The

arrest warrant for Payne was executed by ATF and the Virginia State Police

on February 17,2000, without incident. Payne was taken into custody in

Ashland, Virginia and is scheduled to be arraigned in U.S. District Court

in Richmond, VA. The Federal Arson statute carries a twenty-year penalty.

This was last updated on February 19, 2000