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Las Vegas man gets 4-year sentence in connection with Foley Building fire

A man originally charged with setting fire to the Foley Federal Building, to protest actions by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, has been sentenced to more than four years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon imposed the punishment Wednesday afternoon against Marty Clark, 34, of Las Vegas. Though originally charged with arson, Clark pleaded guilty in June of this year to a charge of depredation of government property.

Investigators say Clark was seen on surveillance video immediately after a fire broke out in the front of the Foley Building on Las Vegas Boulevard, in the early morning hours of Nov. 7, 2020. A security officer tried to nab Clark, but he got away, losing his eyeglasses and dropping a gasoline can in the process.

He allegedly told the officer: “It’s my right to protest.”

DNA from Clark’s glasses, and tips from the public, led investigators to Clark, who had posted anti-ATF material on social media. Court documents suggest Clark was angry at the ATF because his attempt to buy a gun was rejected due to his previous criminal history.

In seeking a 48-month sentence, at the low end of the federal guidelines, Clark’s lawyer Joanne Diamond, an assistant federal public defender, told the judge that although Clark knew what he was doing was a crime, he was in the midst of a schizophrenic episode at the time.

But federal prosecutor Bianca Pucci said Clark’s methamphetamine use was a more likely reason for his behavior than mental health issues. Pucci noted other pending criminal charges are pending against the defendant, including one in which Clark is accused of trying to enter Nellis Air Force Base in a stolen Humvee.

In handing Clark a 51-month prison term, Judge Gordon called his crime “an attack on democracy,” and said if Clark was trying to protest something, it was a “truly misguided form of protest.”

Clark has been in custody since his arrest and was remanded to the federal Bureau of Prisons to serve his sentence.

Contact Glen A. Meek at gmeek@reviewjournal.com or 602-380-8951. Follow @GlenMeekLV on Twitter.

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