Two people have been charged with arson for attempting to burn down two buildings during an August 25 riot in Madison, Wisconsin, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.
Anessa Fiero, 27, and Willie Johnson, 45, are facing charges for allegedly breaking the glass of two commercial buildings, pouring liquid from a gasoline container into the buildings, and attempting to light it on fire. According to the complaint, one of the buildings had occupied apartments inside, the Department of Justice said in a press release. (RELATED: Reporters Live From Wisconsin Riots Get Caught In Crossfire. Two People Shot. Daily Caller Reporter First To Render Aid)
Two charged with arson during civil unrest in Madison https://t.co/EtCgyHGnh4
— U.S. Attorney WDWI (@USAO_WDWI) September 23, 2020
The pair successfully lit a fire at one building, the complaint says, and were in the process of trying to light the second one on fire when police arrived on the scene. Investigators identified Johnson and Fiero through a surveillance video.
“Arson is not protest, it is a crime that places the entire community at extreme risk,” U.S. Attorney Scott C. Blader said according to the Department of Justice press release. “Those who attempt to terrorize the community through such violent crimes will be vigorously prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice.”
Fiero and Johnson face up to 20 years in prison and a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison if convicted.