ATF: $5,000 Reward For Information About Alleged Albany County GOP Office Arsonist
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a $5,000 reward for information on the whereabouts of a man charged with breaking into and burning the Albany County Republican Party headquarters in Laramie in September.
The ATF's Denver Field Division wants to know where Kellen Michael “Van Gogh” Sorber went after he was federally charged Tuesday with one count of maliciously damaging a building by fire, according to a news release Thursday.
"The charges against Sorber are serious," said ATF Denver Field Division Special Agent in Charge Debbie Livingston. "I urge anyone with information to come forward."
Sorber is known to reside in Laramie, but is also known to frequent the Fort Collins, Colo., area.
He is a 27-year-old white male, approximately 5-feet 10-inches tall, weighs 250 pounds and has green eyes. He was last seen with shoulder-length, dark strawberry-blonde hair and a beard.
Sorber was charged with one count of using fire to commit a felony, which is punishable by at least five years to 20 years imprisonment, according to the complaint written by an ATF agent.
The fire was reported at 3:25 a.m. Sept. 6, at the GOP headquarters, 214 E. Ivinson Ave. The Laramie Fire Department responded and extinguished it.
Investigators found two pieces of a cinderblock inside and a third piece on a trash container in the alley, a partially consumed cigarette, the burnt remains of a folding camping-style chair, and burnt remnants of a soft drink can box, according to the criminal complaint.
The ATF laboratory wase able to determine a dominant DNA profile.
Surveillance video also was able to help investigators identify a person of interest -- Sorber.
They began watching Sorber, and one was able to contact him and surreptitiously obtain DNA from a beer can he had. That DNA evidence was consistent with that found on the cigarette and the three pieces of cinderblock.
An investigator determined that Sorber had his cell phone within one-tenth of a mile from a cell tower next to a cafe near the GOP headquarters.
On Oct. 16, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant and obtained DNA directly from Sorber.
Monday, a BATFE forensic biologist provided the agent with preliminary test results from the DNA obtained from Sorber was consistent from the DNA found on the cigarette, cinderblock and other evidence.
The U.S. Attorney's Office filed the charge Tuesday, and filed a motion in federal court that he be detained.
But he apparently was never taken into custody and has gone missing.
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