2 pose as reporters at fires to gain access to supplies

Aug 20, 2015 2:09 AM by Debbie Cobb

BRIDGEPORT, Calif. (AP) - Authorities in Mono County say two men posing as reporters tried to gain access to a wildfire burning north of Walker Lake, raising the suspicions of fire management staff.

The Mono County Sheriff's Office says 44-year-old Aaron Browne and 33-year-old Payton Ware presented false media credentials.

The office says the men were dressed in new firefighter type gear and that Browne was also carrying a case of pepper spray in his pickup truck.

Officials say a check showed Browne is a convicted felon and that he was arrested for being in possession of pepper spray. Authorities released Ware at the scene Monday.

The office says people try to gain access to fire grounds to steal equipment and supplies or to attempt to contact inmate fire crews to smuggle contraband or weapons to the inmates.


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