Emmett Police cars (copy)

Four of the Emmett Police Department’s vehicles were damaged behind Emmett City Hall. A 69-year-old man was sentenced to five years in federal prison.

BOISE — An Emmett man will serve five years in prison for lighting fire to police cars in 2017, according to the U.S. District Court of Idaho.

At about midnight on July 26, 2017, Darrel Rich, now 69, drove to the Emmett Police Department and dumped gasoline on four police cruisers parked in the back parking lot of the police department. He then lit something on fire, threw it at the police cars and ignited them all, according to a news release from the office. The four vehicles, used for patrolling interstate streets and transporting out-of-state violators were damaged from the fire.

The day prior, on July 25, 2017 police had visited Rich’s residence. He called his sister and said 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.”

Rich pleaded guilty to the federal arson offenses in February.

Rich was also sentenced in July 2017 in Gem County to six years in prison for unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felony and driving under the influence. The county sentence will run consecutively with the federal prison sentence.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Idaho State Police, the Gem County Sheriff’s Office, and the Emmett Police Department.


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