A former Martin Marietta worker has pleaded guilty to starting fires which caused more than $2.6 million in damages at the company’s granite quarry in Waite Park, Minnesota, says WJON.
Raymond Curtis, a 47-year-old from St. Cloud, has been charged with 18 felony counts. He pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree arson and seven counts of second-degree arson. The remaining nine charges will be dropped at a sentence hearing on 22 July.
On 12 April 2015, a Waite Park police offer saw smoke rising from inside the gates at the quarry and discovered several fires inside dump trucks, loaders, buildings and other vehicles. Also, a large fuel tank was discharging diesel fuel onto the ground and into an open pond while conveyor belts were cut, storage trailers burned and oil plugs removed from rock crushers causing oil spills.
The report reveals that evidence gathered at the site included several small plastic Gatorade bottles with gasoline and a paper wick, missing padlocks and missing blueprints.
According to authorities, a small Gatorade bottle in Curtis’ garbage matched the production number and expiration code from a partially burned bottle at the scene of the fire and a padlock with a matching key latch was found in his SUV.
The Stearns County Attorney’s Office will ask for a 10-year prison sentence at the July hearing.