Wednesday a former West Harwich resident was sentenced to six years in prison for an attempted arson in 2011. According to a release for US Attorney Carmen Ortiz's Office, 29-year-old Benjamin Parker pleaded guilty to attempted arson, attempted kidnapping and attempted witness tampering in March.
Parker reportedly solicited two homeless men in Boston in September 2011 to burn down a rental home on Riverside Drive in West Harwich. Parker, according to the release, gave the men materials to start the fire and directions for how he wanted it done. The two men notified authorities and assisted in the investigation. One week later, Parker was arrested. Parker reportedly promised to pay the men $1,100 after completing the job. The men were instructed to first let a dog owned by Parker out of the house before starting the fire.
In March 2012, Parker was charged with attempted arson in federal court. According to the release, he was released on conditions and set to plead guilty in in July 2013. A month before his plea date, Parker reportedly traveled to Hartford, CT and attempted to hire a Latin Kings gang member to kidnap and hold the two men who turned him in. As in the case of the two homeless man, the gang member turned Parker into authorities and assisted with the investigation.
Parker was arrested in upstate New York where he was living with family on June 24, 2013 and charged with attempted kidnapping and attempted witness tampering.
To his six years in prison, US District Judge George A. O'Toole added three years of supervised release during Wednesday's sentencing, according to Ortiz's Office.