Kenosha Man Charged with Arson in Early Morning Duplex Fire
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 20, 2011|
United States Attorney James L. Santelle announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in the Eastern District of Wisconsin has returned a two-count indictment against Johnny Zavaleta (age 24), of Kenosha. He is accused of committing the early morning August 11, 2011, arson of a duplex located in the 1700 block of 50th Street in Kenosha.
The specific charges set forth in the indictment include arson (18 USC 844(i)) and use of a destructive device to commit the arson (18 USC 924(c)). The arson is punishable by a minimum mandatory term of five years in prison and a maximum term of 40 years in prison. The second count is punishable by a minimum mandatory 30 years in prison, which must run consecutive to any other sentence.
This indictment is premised upon an investigation conducted by the Kenosha Police Department and the Kenosha Fire Department, in cooperation with special agents of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth M. Blackwood and Kelly B. Watzka
In announcing today’s charges, United States Attorney Santelle stated: “I commend all of the local law enforcement officers and federal agents involved in the investigation of this case for their highly professional and collaborative work. Their focus on and attention to this matter since the time of the arson—along with the work of federal prosecutors—reflects our commitment to pursue aggressively violent crimes of all types–not only to ensure the safety and well-being of our community but also to discourage those who might otherwise be inclined to engage in highly destructive behaviors of this sort.”
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.