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Owner of Minnesota barbecue joint admits to arson

September 12, 2017, Alexandria, MN — A co-owner of Blue Smoke BBQ in Alexandria, which was lost in a fire four years ago, has pleaded guilty to one of three felony charges he faced in connection with the fire.

David Galbraith, 27, of Glenwood admitted to committing felony theft by swindle. He entered his amended plea in Douglas County District Court on Sept. 7, the same day that pre-trial proceedings were scheduled to begin.

As part of an agreement, two other charges – conspiring to commit arson and insurance fraud – will be dismissed. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 14.

The criminal complaint alleged that in August 2013, Galbraith, the co-owner of Blue Smoke BBQ, paid Derrick Bradley, then-manager of the restaurant, to burn down the building so Galbraith could collect insurance proceeds at a time when the business was financially failing.

The complaint said that as a result of the fire, Galbraith collected more than $266,000 in insurance proceeds.

Bradley wasn’t charged in the case because he voluntarily came forward with information and cooperated with the investigation, according to Douglas County Attorney Chad Larson.

Source: The Daily Journal

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