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Ex-fire chief pleads guilty to arson

Ex-fire chief pleads guilty to arson Click to Enlarge Photo:

Nov 23, 2013 at 7:45 am

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A former fire chief in northeastern Minnesota has pleaded guilty to setting fires on U.S. forest land.

Former Babbitt Fire Chief Ryan Scharber pleaded guilty Friday to one count of setting fires on U.S. forest land. The 30-year-old also pleaded guilty to attempted arson on property used in interstate or foreign commerce.

Scharber resigned as fire chief last December.

Federal prosecutors say Scharber set fires in the Superior National Forest on Oct. 7-9 and Oct. 11, 2011, and on April 29 and Sept. 10, 2012, all in Babbitt.

Scharber also was charged with attempted arson at Mattila's Birch Lake Resort in Babbitt on Dec. 3, 2011.

He faces a potential maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the attempted arson count and five years on the setting fires count.

Mike Tanner

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