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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of North Dakota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fort Berthold Man Sentenced on Arson Charge

BISMARCK – United States Attorney Christopher C. Myers announced that on February 15, 2018, Chief United States District Judge Daniel L. Hovland sentenced Charles Valarian Smith, Sr., 24, of New Town, ND, on a charge of arson. Chief Judge Hovland sentenced Smith to serve three years and eight months in prison, to be followed by three years supervised release.

During the early morning hours of June 25, 2017, Smith, Sr., set fire to a New Town, ND, residence using gasoline. Located within the residence at the time of the fire were several individuals, including children. An individual passing by the location noticed flames coming from the residence and was able to extinguish the blaze with a fire extinguisher. There were no injuries sustained by anyone as a result of the fire, however the residence was damaged.

Smith, Sr., informed law enforcement that he and the owner of the residence had gotten into a physical altercation the day prior to the fire and that, while intoxicated and agitated from the altercation, Smith, Sr., had set fire to some garbage located near the side of the residence.

This case was investigated by the Three Affiliated Tribes Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan O’Konek prosecuted the case.

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Updated February 15, 2018