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CALIFORNIA MAN INDICTED IN ARSONIST-FOR-HIRE PLOT

A California man caught in a sting operation has been indicted on two counts in connection with an attempted arson-for-hire, U.S. Attorney Denise E. O'Donnell reported Thursday.

Henry Mendez, 53, of Bakersfield, is charged with attempted arson and interstate travel to commit arson.

Prosecutors charge that Mendez came from Los Angeles to Buffalo to burn a building so the owner could collect insurance proceeds.

After arriving in Buffalo and meeting with the alleged owner, actually an undercover agent from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Mendez allegedly bought several gallons of gasoline and went to a vacant building at
164 Watson St.

ATF agents said they arrested him as soon as he entered the building with the gasoline.

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