ETSU student charged in alleged Rhode Island "arson-for-hire sch - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

ETSU student charged in alleged Rhode Island "arson-for-hire scheme"

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A 27 year-old East Tennessee State University student is accused of trying to burn down an apartment building in Rhode Island as part of what U.S. attorneys call an arson-for-hire scheme.

Federal agents arrested Gbabia Kollie of Johnson City earlier this month while on a flight leaving from Atlanta headed to Liberia.

According to ETSU Goldlink, Kollie is a criminal justice major and senior at East Tennessee State University.

He is charged with conspiracy to commit arson and arson affecting interstate commerce, according to prosecutors.

Kollie is one of three people who are accused of conspiring to burn down a Providence, Rhode Island apartment building.

According to federal agents, Kollie arranged with another person to set the building on fire in return for a $7,000 payout.

The alleged accomplice is accused of getting inside the apartment complex and using gasoline to try and burn the building down. According to agents, that man later told Kollie the fire did not go as planned.

The motive for the November 2nd fire at that specific apartment complex remains unclear.

Kollie is being held in federal custody.

If convicted, agents say he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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