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Murder for hire plot uncovered

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Jimmie Ray Sanders

A Five Points man has been arrested for attempting to carry out a murder and arson for hire scheme.

Officials arrested Jimmie Ray Sanders, 63, of Five Points on Tuesday, October 16 after he attempted to hire an undercover agent to burn an occupied residence in Hogansville, Georgia.

The Alabama State Fire Marshal’s. Chamber County Sheriff’s Department and the Chambers County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force held a press conference here in LaFayette to announce the arrest.

State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk said that on September 30, the State Fire Marshal’s Office was contacted by concerned citizens about a possible murder for hire and arson case. In turn, Fire Marshals contacted the Chambers County Drug Task Force. A joint investigating by the Task Force, the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office resulted in an undercover agent being paid to burn an occupied home in Hogansville.

Paulk did specify the connection between Sanders and the intended targets  but did say “Anytime that you want to burn somebody’s house down or kill them, there’s some connection there.”

Sanders was charged with Criminal Solicitation to Commit Murder and Criminal Solicitation to Commit Arson, first Degree and placed in the Chambers County Detention Center under a one million dollar bond. If convicted he could face up to 99 years in prison. Because the crime crosses state lines, charges could be coming in Troup County as well.

Agencies involved in this investigation and subsequent arrest include the Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Chambers County Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force, the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, The Troup County, Georgia Sheriff’s Office, and the Standing Rock Volunteer Fire Department.

Paulk commends the citizens of Chambers County for reporting this potential crime in such a timely fashion. “Such input from citizens allows law enforcement to operate in a pro-active fashion rather than reactive and likely saved the lives of individuals living in the targeted residence,” he said. “We were able to prevent these crimes from occurring because of concerned and responsible citizens.”

Paulk also reminds the citizens that to report such crimes you may call the Alabama Arson Hotline: 1-800-654-0775, or firemarshal.alabama.gov.

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