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Man arrested in Bois Forte Tribal Center arson case

Ralph S. Boelter, Special Agent in Charge of the Minneapolis FBI office, today, announced the federal arrest of William Lynn Isham , age 20, of Nett Lake, Minn., for the alleged July 20, 2009 arson at the Boise Forte Reservation Tribal Center. FBI and Bureau of Indian Affairs agents arrested about Isham about 1 p.m. Friday, July 31, at a residence in Duluth where he had been staying.

On July 30, a federal criminal complaint was filed in United States District Court, District of Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota, charging Isham, an enrolled member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, with arson, for willfully and maliciously setting fire to the Bois Forte Reservation Tribal Center, located within the boundaries of the Bois Forte Indian Reservation. Shortly after 3 a.m. Monday, July 20, Nett Lake and Orr Fire Departments responded to a reported fire at the Center, and arrived to find the building and a vehicle engulfed in flames. Both the building and the vehicle were destroyed in the fire. On Friday, July 31, Isham made his initial appearance in United States District Court in Duluth, Minnesota, and was ordered detained pending further court proceedings.

This investigation is a joint effort by the FBI, the BIA, the Bois Forte Tribal Police Department, and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal. The United States Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota is prosecuting this case.