United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Milton James Mesteth, age 28, of Porcupine, appeared before US District Judge Jeffrey L. Viken on May 23, 2011, and pled guilty to Count I of an Indictment that charged him with Arson. The maximum penalty upon conviction is life imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine.
In September 2010 near Pine Ridge, Mesteth, along with others, willfully set fire to another person's residence, burning it down. The investigation was conducted by the OST-DPS, the BIA, and ATF. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Robert A. Mandel.
A presentence investigation was ordered, and a sentencing date was set for August 12, 2011. The defendant was released on bond pending trial.