Drew Las Vegas Casino arsonist sentenced to five years in federal prison
Andrew Joseph Sanders, the 28-year-old resident from Las Vegas who filmed himself setting fires at the Drew Las Vegas Casino in March 2018, has been sentenced to five years in federal prison.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Sanders broke into the Drew Las Vegas Casino construction site on 1st of March in 2018 and lit fires at two places, one on the 11th floor of the building close to the ballroom, and another just 200 yards away from the first one.
He himself recorded the fires and commented on his mobile phone video, “And I lit a fire to this sh*t. I’m just bored, you know?”
When two firefighters from the Clark County Fire Department reached the spot to extinguish the fires, he tried to fight the two firefighters back. The altercation delayed the firefighters from supplying water to extinguish the fires, which aggravated the fires resulting in even bigger damages.
The firefighters had to subdue the arsonist before extinguishing the fires inside the building. As per the property owner’s estimates, the fires lit by Sanders caused nearly $10 million in damages. In October last year, Sanders appeared in the court and pleaded guilty to one count of arson.
Just a few months before the incident of arson, New York real-estate billionaire investor Steven Witkoff had acquired the property, formerly the unfinished Fontainebleau, for $600 million from renowned investor Carl Icahn. After acquiring the property, Witkoff renamed it as The Drew Las Vegas Casino in remembrance of his son Andrew Witkoff who lost his life due to overdose of drugs in 2011. Witkoff had vowed to complete the $3 billion casino project but the onset of corona virus pandemic forced the billionaire to halt construction in March this year.
Since then, reports of defaulted interest payments to investors and legal actions from disgruntled construction contractors have been revolving around the project. Rumors that financing for the casino project has fallen short due to the pressures of the corona virus crisis have also engulfed the project. Nevertheless, the Witkoff Group stressed that it remained fully committed to the project.
Meanwhile, Andrew Joseph Sanders remains behind the bars in a federal prison, serving five year sentence. In addition to the five-year term of imprisonment, he will have to remain under supervision for three years. His obligation to pay compensation will be determined by the court at a later date.
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