An illegal alien from China is facing federal charges after allegedly setting multiple fires at a historic Montgomery, Alabama, church that she is accused of scoping out and surveilling.
As Breitbart News reported, 27-year-old Xiaoquin Yan of China was charged last week with second-degree arson after she allegedly set four fires in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church Montgomery. Yan first arrived in the United States on an F-1 student visa but overstayed her visa and has since been living as an illegal alien.
According to the church, where Gov. Kay Ivey (R) attends services, Yan caused at least $25,000 worth of damage. The church was first founded in 1829 and its existing sanctuary has been around since 1916.
Now, Yan is facing federal charges for seeking to destroy property with fire or explosives. Federal court filings, detailed by WSFA 12 News, reveal that Yan supposedly scoped out the church multiple times and made remarks about the pastors, referring to them as “rich white men.”
The pastor of the church told federal agents that he had previously interacted with Yan, finding her suspicious and thus taking down her license plate number. Security guards at the church noted that Yan had “two blue duffel bags with white wiring” inside her 2001 Buick LeSabre. The vehicle is registered to Yan’s name.
Also, a security guard and a custodian said Yan had previously showed up at the church — once with long hair and then later with short hair — and asked about the building’s security cameras.
On the night that the fires were set, federal agents identified a small Asian woman wearing a hat, gloves, and mask while carrying the same type of duffel bags that were previously seen in Yan’s vehicle. The woman had arrived at the church as a service was taking place.
Later that evening, the same woman was caught on the surveillance cameras setting fires all around the church. The woman then left the church with the same duffel bags seen in Yan’s vehicle. Church staff identified the woman in the footage as Yan.
When Yan’s residence and vehicle were searched, police federal agents found lighters, gas cans, multiple cell phones, her passport along with other documents, a pistol, bullets for that pistol, a magazine loaded with bullets, and receipts showing purchases for lighters, duffel bags, and gas cans.
In addition to local charges, Yan is facing five to 20 years in federal prison.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.