Chinese Woman who set a Church on fire in Montgomery sentenced to Jail in Alabama

Montgomery, AL: A Chinese lady was found guilty of illegally having a firearm and setting fire to a church in Alabama. She was sentenced to more than eight years in jail last week from the state of Alabama.

Jonathan S. Ross, the Acting United States Attorney, made the announcement on Monday that a Chinese national had been sentenced for burning down a building and possessing a firearm without authorization.

The punishment of 102 months in prison was handed down by a federal judge on Friday to Xiaoqin Yan, who is 30 years old. The federal government does not allow parole for its inmates.

The court documents and evidence that were revealed at Yan’s trial in June 2023 indicate that on September 30, 2021, Yan entered a church located in the downtown area of Montgomery and started many fires both inside and outside of the building.

Although the Montgomery Fire Department was successful in putting out the fire, it was not until after the church had suffered severe damage they were able to do so.

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The authorities arrested the woman and put her into detention after she set fire in the church.

During the course of the trial, evidence was revealed that demonstrated that Yan had met with members of the church staff on many occasions previous to September 30 and had displayed peculiar conduct.

On October 4, 2021, as agents were apprehending Yan, they discovered goods that were identical to those that were seen on church security tapes. Additionally, they discovered clothes that was identical to the type that Yan wore when he was igniting the fires.

Furthermore, officers discovered a firearm. Yan had overstayed her non-immigrant visa until the time of the arson and her arrest; as a result, she was not permitted to legally possess a handgun at the time of the incident.

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This case was investigated by the Montgomery Fire/Rescue Bureau of Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the United States Marshals Service Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the United States Department of Homeland Security, and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with assistance from the Montgomery Police Department. The prosecution of the case was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys B. Chelsea Phillips and Brandon W. Bates.