March 24, 2011

State of Alabama
Press Release: Forestry Commission, Alabama

AFC Arson Dog “Blaze” Helps Make Arrest of Baldwin County Man

The Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC), in conjunction with the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, arrested 44-year-old Brian Keith Wilson of Stapleton on charges of Wildland Arson. Wilson was arrested on March 23 as a result of an investigation into the cause of several wildfires set January 8 – 9, 2011, in the Stapleton area of Baldwin County. Wilson was placed in the Baldwin County jail and is awaiting bond to be set. Wildland Arson is a Class C felony which, upon conviction, carries a penalty of 1-10 years imprisonment and/or up to a $15,000 fine.


The AFC’s arson bloodhound, Blaze, was instrumental in this investigation and subsequent arrest. Forestry Commission Law Enforcement Chief Craig Hill said that 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 AFC’s law enforcement tool box.      


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 an Arson/Forest Crimes Hotline so that citizens can call and report theft of timber, vandalism or theft of harvesting equipment, and wildland arson. The toll-free number is 1-800-222-2927. Any information provided is confidential and the caller remains anonymous.


This release reports an arrest only.  All suspects are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.


For more information, contact:

Chief Craig Hill

334.240.9366 office phone

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