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Crime

Suspect facing 30 charges after two-year-long crime spree

The Star of Grand Coulee, Washington

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After a task-force investigation lasting more than two years, a 23-year-old Moses Lake man has been arrested and is facing charges including multiple arsons, domestic violence assault and burglary, the Grant County Sheriff's Office announced Monday.

Kolton J. Dana was arrested Friday after investigators developed information which helped tie him, they say, to a long list of unsolved local crimes that started in 2013. Those crimes include a string of arson fires in the Soap Lake, Moses Lake and Ephrata areas.

He is in the Grant County Jail, with bail set at $100,000.

"What the public needs to know is that this suspect is off the street thanks to the teamwork of the task force members who devoted hundreds of hours of good, old-fashioned investigative work," said Sheriff Tom Jones.

The task force included investigators from the sheriff's office, Ephrata Police Department, Ephrata Fire Department, the Grant County Fire Marshal's Office, Soap Lake Police Department, Moses Lake Police Department and Moses Lake Fire Department.

They looked into more than 60 crimes, including burglaries and arsons in Ephrata, Soap Lake and Moses Lake. The arsons include dumpsters, vehicles, occupied dwellings, unoccupied dwellings and wildland. Aside from several burglaries, Dana is a suspect in at least 23 fires set in Ephrata between April 17 and August 18, 2013; a suspect in at least 18 fires in and around Soap Lake in 2014 and 2015; and a suspect in a fire at the Sunland Motor Inn in Moses Lake last July 27.

Thus far, 30 charges have been filed against Dana, including: one count of first-degree assault, domestic violence — armed with a firearm, related to an incident in May 2014 involving the mother of Dana's child 15 counts of first-degree arson; six counts of second-degree arson; two counts of residential burglary; three counts of second-degree burglary; one count of second-degree theft; and one count of third-degree theft.

The investigation continues and more charges may be forthcoming, the sheriff said. Dana's first appearance in court was set for Tuesday morning in Grant County Superior Court, Ephrata. He was still listed as an inmate Tuesday night.



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Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015



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