Man sentenced for setting Maricopa County cars on fire in Mesa
A burned SUV belonging to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office sits in the lot of a county mechanic shop in Mesa. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Gustavo Hernandez, 25, was found at the scene and being held by deputies as a suspect. (July 2013 booking photo)
PHOENIX (CBS5/AP) -
A 25-year-old Arizona man has been sentenced for setting fire to three county vehicles, including an MCSO vehicle in Mesa.
On Friday, Gustavo Hernandez, 25, was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of supervised probation.
He pleaded guilty in November 2013 to arson of a structure and criminal damage.
In September, deputies reporting to work about 4 a.m. heard car alarms and saw the fire in the secured parking lot of the Maricopa County maintenance yard near McQueen Road and Mesa Drive in Mesa.
They called the Mesa Fire Department and later found Hernandez near the scene, said Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputy Joaquin Enriquez.
Hernandez was arrested and deputies said he confessed to using flares to start the fire, Enriquez said.
A surveillance camera also captured Hernandez at the scene, Enriquez said.
Deputies said they believe Hernandez used flares from one of the sheriff's vehicles in the lot, and that at least five additional flares were found scattered throughout the property, leading them to think Hernandez intended to start more fires.
Enriquez said the other two vehicles belonged to other county agencies.
Deputies said Hernandez has no connection to the county.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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