Former Kickapoo Volunteer Firefighter pleads guilty to concealing cause of grass fires

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A former firefighter with the Kickapoo Volunteer Fire Department has pleaded guilty to concealing the fact that grass fires on the reservation were deliberately set.

U.S. Attorney Tom Beall said Arlene M. Negonsott, 35, of Horton, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of concealing a felony. In her plea, Negonsott admitted that she did not tell investigators what she knew when they interviewed her about a series of fires on the Kickapoo Reservation in Brown County.

Beall said Negonsott knew that fire chief and co-defendant Stephen D. Ramirez, Jr. arranged for the fires to be set and billed the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the Kickapoo Fire Department’s work putting out the fires.

Sentencing is set for a later date. She faces up to three years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.

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