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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of Louisiana

For Immediate Release

February 14, 2012

Jim Letten, United States Attorney

Contact: Anna Christman
(504) 680-3171

Two Fat CityConveniece Store Operators Indicted for Arson

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA — WAEL HAMMAD, age 37, and ALAA HAMMAD, age 30, both residents of Gretna, Louisiana, are the subject of an indictment issued February 2, 2012 and unsealed today. Both were charged on February 1, 2012, in a two–count indictment by a Federal Grand Jury with, conspiracy to commit the December 14, 2011 arson of the building located at 3651 18th Street, Metairie, Louisiana and the arson of the building, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.

Last year, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) responded along with Jefferson Parish Fire Investigators to a fire which occurred at Fat City Discount Market on December 14, 2011. The subsequent investigation alleges that the fire was intentionally set by WAEL HAMMAD and ALAA HAMMAD who operated the business.

If convicted on either count of the indictment each of the Hammads face a maximum term of twenty (20) years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000.00 and a minimum three (3) years of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

U. S. Attorney Letten reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Jefferson Parish Fire Investigator’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Tony G. Sanders.