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Ogema man gets four years for arson

Matthew Silas Dodd, 19, of 32204 County Road 34, Ogema, has been sentenced to prison on five felony arson counts and a felony count of motor vehicle theft.

According to court records:

Dodd and several juveniles were involved in the arson fire Nov. 18, 2006, of an unoccupied residence on the Strawberry Lake Access road. A boat in the yard was also burned. A neighbor saw a car in the yard about 6 a.m. and noticed smoke at about the same time.

On Aug. 19, 2006, at about 4:30 a.m. Dodd was involved in an arson fire that burned an uninhabited structure on the 33000 block of County Road 143, about a mile away from the first fire.

On Aug. 24, 2006, at about 5 a.m. Dodd was involved in an arson fire of a garage on 355th Street. Items were stolen from the garage prior to the fire being set, including a boat motor and a trolling motor.

A short time later on the same day authorities responded to a burglar alarm at 3 Bear Golf Course, about 2.5 miles away.

The golf course owners had come upon three young men near a 1988 Dodge Diplomat and an ATV in a ditch near the golf course. The three covered their heads with shirts when they saw the owners drive by.

The car was being driven by one of the suspects, and the stolen items from the previous garage arson were found in the back seat. The ATV had been stolen from the golf course, and the three took off running into the woods.

Dodd and the two juveniles -- ages 15 and 17 at the time -- were found in the area with wet shoes, torn clothing and scratches on their bodies. They were arrested separately.

The 15-year-old had a blood alcohol level of .20 percent. Dodd tested at .07 percent. He admitting his involvement in the arsons and thefts.

On Tuesday, he was sentenced in Becker County District Court by Judge Peter Irvine to 48 months in prison on count one, felony first-degree arson.

He was sentenced to concurrent sentences of 23 months and 18 months on the other charges. No fine was imposed.