MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that John Cole Haeberle, age 23, of Tahlequah, Oklahoma was sentenced to sixty months’ imprisonment, and three years of supervised release for Arson, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 844(i). The charges arose from an investigation by the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, the Tahlequah Fire Department, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The Indictment alleged that from on or about February 24, 2020, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma, the defendant, maliciously damaged and destroyed, and attempted to damage and destroy, by means of fire and explosive materials the Garden Walk Apartments located at 18106 W. 794 Road, APT 40B, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, a building which was used in any activity affecting interstate commerce.
United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester said, “The defendant’s conduct had the potential for injuring many people. Although no one was physically harmed, setting fire to an occupied apartment building is a serious offense. The diligent efforts of the investigation and prosecution teams that worked on this case led to the defendant’s quick apprehension, prosecution, and sentencing. His community is safer with him in a Bureau of Prisons facility.”
“The use of fire to commit arson is one of the most dangerous criminal acts today. The fact that Mr. Haeberle committed this violent act at an apartment complex is even more concerning. Thanks to the hard work of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Tahlequah Fire Department, this criminal actor was caught and brought to justice,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey C. Boshek II.
The Honorable Ronald A. White, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Jarrod Leaman represented the United States.