Firefighter admits to setting blazes to get paid for putting them out
NORTH CAROLINA (CNN) – Talk about keeping yourself in business.
A North Carolina firefighter admitted he intentionally set fires on an Indian reservation so he could get paid for putting them out.
Raymond Swayney pleaded guilty earlier this week in federal court to one count of conspiracy to set a timber fire and to defraud the United States, CNN affiliate WLOS reports.
He and others set seven fires on land belonging to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian from March 2010 until February 2014.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs hires temporary firefighters for emergencies on the reservation who are paid based on the number of hours they work putting out blazes as well as time spent on other duties, such as the maintenance of equipment after the fire and cleaning the trucks.
The fires set by Swayney and the others destroyed more than 400 acres and cost well over $100,000 to put out.