The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Max Erikson

U.S. attorney declines to prosecute fire setting by officer on Yakama land


February 7, 2018

file photo

FIRE SETTING GOES UNPROSECUTED: The setting of a fire last year by a Yakama tribal police officer (seen leaving the scene at left), captured in this surveillance camera picture, will not be prosecuted by the U.S. attorney.

A Yakama Nation police officer who was caught on camera last summer setting fire to a water control irrigation structure near Cougar Creek will not be prosecuted by the Eastern District of Washington U.S. Attorney's office for criminal violations.

After a lengthy investigation that involved the FBI and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the U.S. Attorney's Office made the decision to not pursue the case further based on what it called the overall circumstances of the incident. It was determined that those circumstances were not applicable to federal crime statutes.

In a letter to one of the investigators, the U.S. Attorney's Office stated, "In deciding to decline prosecution, this office exami...

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