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Man pleads guilty to arson at children’s autism facility

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Updated: 7/24/2013 10:36 am
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) – A Las Vegas man has pleaded guilty to maliciously attempting to destroy a local children’s autism learning facility by fire and explosive devices.

Samuel Powers, 24, pleaded guilty Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro to one count of arson of property and one count of possession of unregistered firearms, specifically Molotov cocktails.

According to the plea agreement, Powers knowingly and maliciously damaged a building which housed several commercial businesses, including Sport Social, an autism facility, in the 7000 block of Windy Street in Las Vegas. Powers forcibly entered Sport Social on April 15 with three Molotov cocktails and a gasoline container, and poured gasoline and set multiple fires inside the business.

The fires caused at least $50,000 in damage to the structure and its contents.

Powers, who is in federal custody on the charges, faces five to 20 years in prison on the arson charge and not more than 10 years in prison on the firearms charge, as well as a fine of up to $250,000 on each count.

Sentencing is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 1. The government and the defendant agreed to a binding recommendation of a sentence of 10 years in prison.
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