News and Press Releases

Man Pleads Guilty To Setting Fires On U.S. Forest Service Lands Last Summer

June 19, 2006

Reno, Nev. – A man who was formerly employed as a part-time firefighter by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has pleaded guilty to setting fires on U.S. Forest Service lands in Lander County, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

On June 15, 2006, MARK E. MORGAN, age 34, of Reno, Nevada, pleaded guilty to setting three separate fires near Austin, Nevada, between August 19 and August 29, 2005. The fires occurred approximately 170 miles east of Reno within the Humboldt-Toyaibe National Forest, Austin Ranger District, and resulted in significant damage to timber, brush, and grasses covering land in excess of 550 acres.

MORGAN'S sentencing is scheduled for October 23, 2006, before Senior U.S. District Judge Edward C. Reed, Jr. He faces up to five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, and restitution for the damages to government property.

The case is being investigated by Special Agents with the U.S. Forest Service, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul L. Pugliese.

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