NM man pleads guilty to Hitching Post arson

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) _ A New Mexico man has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson in the fire that destroyed the main building of the Hitching Post Inn, a landmark hotel in Cheyenne.

Fifty-two-year-old Ajay Jariwala of Albuquerque entered the plea early Friday evening before a federal judge in Cheyenne. He faces between five to six years in prison if the judge agrees to accept the plea after reviewing a pre-sentence
report.

Federal prosecutors say Jariwala was an officer in the company that bought the Hitching Post Inn for just over $1 million in early 2010. The indictment says Jariwala took out a $13.6 million insurance policy on the hotel before the fire that September.

Jariwala was the last defendant in the case. Two others already have pleaded guilty to related charges.

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