An Independence, Missouri, man pleaded guilty in federal court to his role in an arson conspiracy to damage a local business.
Randell Eugene Yeager, Jr., 46, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Roseann Ketchmark to participating in a conspiracy to damage property by means of arson.
By pleading guilty, Yeager admitted that he was hired on two occasions to damage Bobby Jackson’s Trading, a gold-buying business located at 302 E. 23rd Street in Independence.
Yeager admitted that he was paid $800 to damage the business on July 17, 2017. Yeager drove a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee in front of the business at approximately 3:20 a.m. Yeager then began to reverse towards the building before colliding into the building through the front door and front business windows, causing approximately $10,000 in damage. Yeager then accelerated out of the business and drove away. The stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee was located later by the Independence Police Department, unoccupied and still running, with evidence from the damaged building still attached to the vehicle.
Yeager also admitted that he was paid $800 to set fire to Bobby Jackson’s Trading on Aug. 4, 2017. Yeager used containers of gasoline to set fire to the front of the business, which caused approximately $5,000 in damage to the exterior and interior of the building.
Yeager was arrested on Nov. 24, 2018. At that time, he was in possession of a Heckler & Koch 9mm semi-automatic handgun and .936 grams of methamphetamine.
Under federal statutes, Yeager is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bruce Rhoades. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Independence, Mo., Police Department.