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Press Release

Cherokee, N.C. Man Is Sentenced For Arson

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of North Carolina

ASHEVILE, N.C. –James Ralph Brady, 55, of Cherokee, N.C. was sentenced to four years in prison today followed by five years of supervised release for the arson of a home that caused approximately $10,000 in damage, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. In addition to the prison term imposed, Brady was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution.

Chief Carla Neadeau of the Cherokee Indian Police Department joins U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.

According to filed court documents, on July 25, 2021, a residential structural fire was reported at 37 Bob Owle Road in Cherokee. The residence is a single-wide trailer and the fire was set to an exterior wall with damage done throughout the residence. Court records reveal that Brady was on house arrest on Tribal charges at the time and his ankle monitoring device pinged at the residence near the time the fire was discovered. According to court documents, when Brady was questioned by Tribal police he admitted throwing an incendiary device commonly called a “Molotov cocktail” near the residence before it caught fire. Law enforcement records show that Brady thought his intended target lived at the residence but was mistaken and that he had no dispute with the actual victim. The victim was able to put the fire out but not before substantial damage was done to the home.

Brady is currently in federal custody and will be transferred to the custody of the federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility.

In making today’s announcement U.S. Attorney King thanked the Cherokee Indian Police Department for their investigation of the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pritchard of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville prosecuted the case.


Updated January 26, 2023