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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Emmett Man Charged In BLM Fire

BOISE – Matthew Williams, 23, of Emmett, Idaho, pleaded not guilty today in United States District Court to the charge of Public Land Set Afire, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. A federal grand jury in Boise indicted Williams on February 12, 2013.

According to court documents, Williams is accused of illegally setting a fire on federal public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Gem County on August 20, 2011. The indictment alleges that the wildfire burned a total of 315 acres – 221 BLM acres and 94 private land acres – southwest of Emmett on Freezeout Hill, near mile post 11 on State Highway 16.

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

A trial is set for April 22, 2013, before Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Land Management.

An indictment is only an allegation of criminal conduct and is not evidence of guilt. A person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.