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Blackfoot man pleads guilty to arson

A Blackfoot man pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Pocatello to arson.

U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson said in a news release Friday that in the early morning hours of Aug. 6, 2012, Trevor James Hurley, 20, set fire to a manufactured home or trailer located on the Fort Hall Shoshone-Bannock Indian Reservation. Witnesses observed Hurley earlier in the night buying cotton balls and lighter fluid at a convenience store. Hurley later returned to the convenience store, bragging about how he had set someone’s trailer on fire.

In an interview with law enforcement on Sept. 11, 2012, Hurley explained how he poured lighter fluid on the cotton balls, lit them on fire and pushed them through a hole in the screen to the trailer’s master bedroom window. He said that the trailer ignited fast, flames shot up, and then he ran back to his friends in a nearby vehicle.

Although the trailer was a total loss, and another person was sleeping in a camp trailer located about 10 feet away, no one was injured in the fire.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office told Local News 8 on Friday that a motive for the arson is unavailable at this time.

Sentencing is set for April 30, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill at the federal courthouse in Pocatello.

The charge is punishable by up to 25 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000 and up to five years of supervised release.

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