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Arizona man pleads guilty to setting cars on fire

MESA, Ariz. — A 25-year-old Arizona man who was suspected of setting fire
to a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office SUV and two other county vehicles has
pleaded guilty to arson.

Court records show Gustavo Hernandez entered his plea Friday. He is scheduled
to be sentenced in early January.

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 later found Hernandez near the scene. Sheriff’s Deputy Joaquin Enriquez
says Hernandez was arrested and later confessed to using flares to start the
fire.

At least five additional flares were found scattered throughout the property,
leading deputies to think Hernandez intended to start more fires.

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