Crime

He admitted to setting 4 Emmett police cars on fire. Now he’s heading to prison.

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A 69-year-old Emmett man will serve the next five years in prison after he pleaded guilty to setting four Emmett Police vehicles on fire in 2017.

Darrel Rich was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court and after his prison sentence, he must serve three years of supervised release for damage by fire to vehicles owned by an institution receiving federal funding and damage by fire to vehicles used in interstate commerce, according to a news release from the Idaho U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Rich pleaded guilty to the federal arson offenses on Feb. 11.

According to court records, on July 25, 2017, after police had visited Rich’s residence in Emmett, Rich had telephone communications with his sister wherein he stated that the police needed to “back off now or somebody is going to get hurt” and that if she “call[ed] the cops on me again. . . we’re done.”

Then, on July 26, 2017, at approximately 12:04 a.m., Rich drove his Chevrolet Impala to the Emmett Police Department and parked it on First Street across from the Emmett Police Department unsecured back parking lot, according to court records. Rich exited the car, opened the trunk and retrieved a gasoline canister, walked to the rear of four police cruisers parked in the back parking lot, and poured gasoline from the canister behind each of them. Rich then lit something on fire, threw it toward the police cruisers, and they ignited.

According to court records, the four police cruisers were used in local and interstate police activity, including patrolling interstate streets and transporting out-of-state violators of the law, making it a federal crime, according to the news release.

Rich’s five-year sentence will run partially consecutive to Rich’s 6-year fixed prison sentence in Gem County for his July 2017 unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and felony driving under the influence.

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