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Vernon arson suspect arrested

VERNON-Multiple arsons in Vernon caused serious concern for residents and the Vernon Fire District, a suspect has been arrested and charged.

A series of buildings in Vernon were torched, and the local Vernon Fire Assistant Chief Perrone asked for help from arson investigators along with the Apache County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) and other agencies. The agencies answered the call.

“We will continue to work together with our valued first responders and partners to achieve our goals,” said Jesse Robinson, ACSO Public Relations.

The suspect is Joaquine Jeremia Martinez, and he is being held in the Apache County Jail on No Bond pending formal charges by the Apache County Attorney’s Office. 

According to public records, Martinez was served with two search warrants on February 5. Then on February 7, through investigative leads, Martinez was located in Mesa, AZ. 

The Apache County Sheriff’s Office coordinated with Mesa Police Department and the U.S. Marshall’s Task Force and Martinez was taken into custody without incident. He was then extradited back to Apache County.

The residents of Vernon formed a neighborhood watch due to the arsons and have been on high alert. They’re breathing a sigh of relief today but remain concerned.

“I can’t tell you the relief this arrest has brought to my family and the community of Vernon; we are still staying vigilant and hope only one person is involved,” said a Vernon resident.

Martinez is no stranger to the courts; he has multiple charges that range from child abuse, divorce, assaults, disorderly conduct, intimidation, and speeding.

The case against Martinez has been submitted to the Apache County Attorney’s Office for review and subsequent charges. Mountain Daily Star will update this story if the charges are changed. 

Current charges:

1 count of 13-1507.A- Burglary 2nd Deg: Residential Stucture [Felony] Bail: $0
6 counts of 13-1703.A- Arson: Single Occupancy Residential; House, Duplexes, [Felony] Bail: $0
5 counts of 13-3102.A.1- Misconduct Involving Weapons [Felony] Bail: $0
6 counts of 13-1602.B.4- Criminal Damage: Felony [Felony] Bail: $0

Total Bail: $0

Vernon Fire District issued a press release that confirmed through evidence obtained at the fire scenes, six of the fires were determined to be arson. However, the press release was not an official arson report.

Vernon Fire District press release.
Vernon Fire District press release.

Anyone with information pertaining to this case or witnessed the actions is encouraged to contact the Apache County Sheriff’s Office immediately at 928-337-4321 extension 6. 

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