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Colby Fire Affidavit

Colby Fire Affidavit

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Published by scprweb
Three men were charged in federal court Tuesday for starting illegal campfire in Angeles National Forest.
Three men were charged in federal court Tuesday for starting illegal campfire in Angeles National Forest.

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Published by: scprweb on Jan 22, 2014
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02/04/2014

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 AFFIDAVIT
I, Wayne M. Nomi, being duly sworn, declare and state as follows:
I.
 
INTRODUCTION
1.
 
I ama Special Agent (“SA”) with the United States Forest Service (“USFS”), and have been so employed since January 2009. Prior to this assignment, I was employed as a Special Agent with the United States Department of Transportation, Office of the Inspector General, for approximately seven years, and as a Special Agent with the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of the Inspector General, for approximately five years. 2.
 
 This affidavit is submitted in support of a criminal complaint charging JONATHAN CARL JARRELL, CLIFFORD EUGENE HENRY,  JR., and STEVEN ROBERT AGUIRRE with the felony offense of Unlawfully Setting Timber Afire and Aiding, Abetting, and Causing Timber to be Unlawfully Set Afire, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1855 and 2. See charging language incorporated herein as Attachment A. 3.
 
 The facts set forth in this affidavit are based upon my personal observations, my training and experience, and information obtained fromvarious law enforcement personnel and witnesses. This affidavit is intended to show merely that there is sufficient probable cause for the specific crime charged and does not purport to set forth all of my knowledge of or investigation into this matter. Unless specifically indicated otherwise, all conversations and statements described in this affidavit are related in substance and in part only.
 
2
II.
 
STATEMENT OF PROBABLE CAUSE
4.
 
On or about January 16, 2014, a wildfire was reported to be burning in the Angeles National Forest and surrounding public and private lands near Glendora, California, within the County of Los Angeles. 5.
 
 The United States Forest Service and the Los Angeles County Fire Department initiated the fire suppression efforts and established an incident command system. The wildfire was named the Colby Fire. 6.
 
I responded to the Colby Fire as the lead criminal investigator and fire investigator at approximately 7:30 a.m. on  January 16, 2014. 7.
 
As of the evening of January 16, 2014, the Colby Fire had destroyed over 1,700 acres of federal, state, local, and private lands. The fire had also destroyed five residences, damaged 17 additional structures, and resulted in injuries to one civilian and two fire fighters. 8.
 
On or about January 17, 2014, I reviewed an incident report prepared by Officer Nancy Miranda of the Glendora Police Department. Frommy review of the report, I have learned the following information: a.
 
At approximately 5:46 a.m. that morning, Officer Miranda was dispatched to the area of Loraine Avenue and Saga Street in the City of Glendora to begin evacuating residents in the area;
 
3 b.
 
Near Mullaghboy Road and Kilaleck Lane, an unknown male flagged Officer Miranda down and told her, “there are two guys running in the wash.c.
 
Officer Miranda responded to the location near 851 East PalmAvenue and observed CLIFFORD EUGENE HENRY, JR. (defendant HENRY, JR.) and STEVEN ROBERT AGUIRRE (defendant AGUIRRE”) running southbound in the wash/drainage leading fromthe Colby Fire. She ordered the two men to stop running and to approach her location. d.
 
Officer Miranda observed that both defendants were wearing backpacks and that their clothes were dirty and disheveled. She noted that their shoes were full of wet mud. e.
 
Officer Miranda noticed that defendant AGUIRRE strongly smelled of smoke and he had burnt ashes on his clothing. Officer Miranda asked himif he was running fromthe fire, and observed that he appeared to be nervous. He stated that they were camping in the hills, had woken up, and observed the hills to be on fire. Defendant AGUIRRE stated that they ran because they were afraid of the fire. When Officer Miranda asked himwhy he was running in the wash and not in the street, defendant AGUIRRE looked down and did not answer the question. f.
 
Officer Miranda then asked defendant HENRY, JR. where he and defendant AGUIRRE were running from. He stated that they were camping in the foothills and woke up to the foothills on fire. He insisted that they did not start the fire.

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