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Firefighter Pleads Guilty to Setting Fires so He’d Get Paid

Friday, December 16, 2016

raymond swaynetFirefighters are often thought of heroes, not criminals. However, this story  in Western North Carolina is about a firefighter who purposely started fires.

Raymond Neal Swayney, 31, pleaded guilty in federal court to intentionally setting wildfires on tribal land in Western North Carolina. Why would he do such a thing? Because he was also paid to help put them out. He now faces up to five years in prison, and a $250,000 at sentencing. 

He’s lucky nobody was harmed in these fires. 

Swayney was hired by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a temporary firefighter. The firefighters are paid only for the hours they spend putting out fires or doing related maintenance, so he decided he was going to try to up the time he’d be able to make money. Disgusting.

Swayney, along with others, purposely set seven fires over the course of 4 years in order to earn pay. The fires burned 420 acres in total on the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians reservation. It ended up costing approximately $106,000 to extinguish the fires.
Swayne pleaded guilty of one count of conspiracy to set timber afire and to defraud the United States. His sentencing date has yet to be set.  

Original article:  Cherokee Man Set Fires, Then Got Paid to Put Them Out 

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image credit: CNN