Arrest made in St. Ann's arson
February 16, 2017
Shane Rucker, 33, Bonners Ferry, was
arrested today on a two-count federal indictment
in the District of Idaho charging him with
destruction of religious property and using a
fire to damage or destroy religious property.
A federal grand jury sitting in Boise returned
the indictment on February 15. Rucker, who is in
custody in the Bonner County Jail, will make his
initial appearance at 9 a.m. Friday at the
federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.
According to allegations in the indictment, on
April 21, 2016, Rucker set fire to St. Ann’s
Catholic Church in Bonners Ferry because of the
religious character of the property, in
violation of the Church Arson Prevention Act.
The church was completely destroyed as a result
of the fire.
An indictment is a means of charging a person
with criminal activity. It is not evidence. The
person is presumed innocent until proven guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
If convicted of destroying the church because of
its religious character, Rucker faces a maximum
sentence of 20 years in prison. Using a fire to
destroy the church carries a mandatory 10 year
sentence that must run consecutive to any other
The case is being investigated by the Bonners
Ferry Police Department, the Bonner County
Sheriff’s Office, the Idaho State Fire Marshal’s
Office, the Boundary County Sheriff’s Office
Fire Investigation Team, the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco and Firearms, and the Federal Bureau of
The case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney
Wendy Olson and Assistant U.S. Attorney Traci
Whelan of the District of Idaho and Trial
Attorney Angie Cha of the Civil Rights Division.
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