Facing Heavy Sentence if Convicted
FIRE CHIEF JACOB BARLOW OF THE COLORADO CITY / HILDALE Fire Department in Arizona was arrested Tuesday on an indictment issued August 4 charging him with 27 counts of violating the duties as custodian of public funds, two counts of participating in a criminal syndicate and one count of assisting in a criminal syndicate. Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, are twin cities that straddle the border and are infamous for being the settlement for a religious cult that openly practices polygamy. The community has been in the news constantly over the past several years, most recently when the cult's leader, Warren Jeffs was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for child rape connected with the cult's practices.
Fire Station 3 (News-Herald)
The community fire department operates three stations on both sides of the border and 16 months ago in April 2010 the Mojave County, Arizona, sheriff's office raided the main fire station along with the homes of both Chief Barlow and the Colorado City Manager David Darger. The Mojave Daily News reports this morning:
The investigation looked into the alleged misuse of the fire department’s credit cards for personal use in connection with the fire departments and the city government. Seized in the raid were computer hard drives and cameras. The computers were examined by experts from the state’s Attorney General’s Office and the Arizona Department of Public Safety in Phoenix.
Volunteer firefighter waits outside while warrants from
both states are served in last year's raid. (The Spectrum photo)
There is evidence that as much as $2 million has been misappropriated over a seven-year period prior to last year's raids. Barlow faces the possibility of a 12-year prison term on the criminal syndicate charge alone. He will be arraigned on August 26.
Read STATter911 background report on the fire department following last year's raid HERE.
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