ALBANY, NEW YORK – Joel Malek, age 42, of Schenectady, New York, was arrested today and charged with possession of an improvised incendiary device, commonly known as a “Molotov cocktail,” on June 5, 2020.
The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon; John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); and Thomas F. Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Malek was indicted for possessing a Molotov cocktail as an unregistered destructive device, on June 5. The charges in the indictment are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
If convicted, Malek faces up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of up to 3 years. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
Malek was arraigned today before United States Magistrate Judge Christian F. Hummel, who ordered Malek detained pending a detention hearing scheduled for Thursday.
This case is being investigated by ATF and the FBI, with assistance from the Schenectady Fire Department and Schenectady Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard Belliss and Alexander P. Wentworth-Ping.