Arson dog "Blaze" credited with conviction of Mobile man - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Arson dog "Blaze" credited with conviction of Mobile man

"Blaze" the arson dog (Courtesy: AFC) "Blaze" the arson dog (Courtesy: AFC)

Following an arrest initially made in May of 2012, the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC) is once again crediting the agency's arson dog, "Blaze," with a successful conviction. Darren Mitchell Lavender, aged 47 of Mobile, pleaded guilty to Reckless Burning on November 29 in Mobile County District Court. The man was fined $1,000 and sentenced to 10 days in jail.

The AFC's bloodhound was requested earlier this year by Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries officials to assist in locating Lavender when he had evaded arrest by game wardens. Lavender set three fires as a diversion to aid his escape. Blaze was scented off evidence found at the scene, and tracking the scent, placed the suspect at the scene of the fires.

According to AFC Law Enforcement Chief Craig Hill, canines have been used in law enforcement for years to locate evidence and people. As with fingerprints, each person has a unique scent. Blaze's ability to track a human scent has added a whole new dimension to the agency's law enforcement capabilities.

The Alabama Forestry Commission is committed to reducing the number of forestry-related crimes that occur each year across the state. These crimes generate losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to landowners, the timber industry, and Alabama's economy. The AFC provides a Wildland Arson/Forest Crimes Hotline so that citizens can call and report wildland arson, theft of timber, or vandalism and theft of harvesting equipment.

This toll-free number is (800) 222-2927. Any information provided is confidential and the caller remains anonymous.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama Forestry Commission

  • LocalMore>>

  • Columbus woman shot on Cusseta Road Thursday morning

    Columbus woman shot on Cusseta Road Thursday morning

    Thursday, July 20 2017 8:30 AM EDT2017-07-20 12:30:07 GMT

    Columbus police confirmed a woman was shot early Thursday morning on According to police, the shooting happened on the 2000 block of Cusseta Road near 25th Avenue around 5:30 a.m. 

    More >>

    Columbus police confirmed a woman was shot early Thursday morning on According to police, the shooting happened on the 2000 block of Cusseta Road near 25th Avenue around 5:30 a.m. 

    More >>
  • Most Wanted: July 2017 Rigdon Road shooting

    Most Wanted: July 2017 Rigdon Road shooting

    Wednesday, July 19 2017 10:33 PM EDT2017-07-20 02:33:21 GMT
    (Source: WTVM File)(Source: WTVM File)

    Three people shot, one died, and a gunman is a free man as Columbus police need help to take this person off the streets.

    More >>

    Three people shot, one died, and a gunman is a free man as Columbus police need help to take this person off the streets.

    More >>
  • Whitewater in Columbus, 5 years later

    Whitewater in Columbus, 5 years later

    Wednesday, July 19 2017 11:17 PM EDT2017-07-20 03:17:42 GMT
    (Source: Aaron Lee/WTVM)(Source: Aaron Lee/WTVM)

    It was five years ago when the Chattahoochee River in Columbus changed, and the economy surrounding the river changed as well. 

    More >>

    It was five years ago when the Chattahoochee River in Columbus changed, and the economy surrounding the river changed as well. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly