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October 28, 2011

Department of Justice

United States Attorney William C. Killian Eastern District of Tennessee


JOHN WESLEY IRONS SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS IN PRISON FOR ARSON OF UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE LAND

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- John Wesley Irons, 64, of Coker Creek, Tenn., was sentenced in U.S. District Court, by the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, U.S. District Judge, to serve 60 months in prison for his role in a series of arsons. The sentence was the result of a guilty plea by Irons on February 15, 2011, to a federal indictment charging him with arson of timber in the Cherokee National Forest, owned by the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the United States.

The indictment and subsequent conviction of Irons was the result of an 18-year investigation conducted by the U.S. Forest Service.

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian praised the efforts of the U.S. Forest Service in this lengthy investigation. It was through their dedication and hard work that this crime was able to be solved. “This sentence represents the seriousness of these crimes and the firm way in which they will be dealt with in the U.S. Courts,” said U.S. Attorney Killian.

Steve Rupert, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Forest Service said, “We are pleased with the closure of this case. The successful outcome is the result of the tireless efforts made by a number of law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The Forest Service will continue to aggressively pursue crimes of this nature.”

The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Edgar Schmutzer.

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