An off-duty Border Patrol agent has been ordered to pay $220,000 in restitution over a gender reveal party he threw for his wife last year.
Prior to the incident, which occurred on April 23, 2017, Dennis Dickey filled a target with colored powder to indicate the sex of their new baby: pink for girl or blue for boy. Upon being hit, the target would explode and reveal the sex.
Problem is, the target also contained Tannerite, which is a legal but highly explosive substance “designed to detonate when shot by a high-velocity firearm, according to U.S. Forest Service Special Agent Brent Robinson.
In the incident, when Dickey fired his rifle at the explosive target, it ignited a huge fire that quickly spread through the dry grasslands of southern Arizona. In fact, the fire ultimately engulfed 47,000 acres land, leaving more than $8 million worth of damage by the time it was fully put out over a week later.
“Dickey immediately reported the fire to law enforcement, cooperated, and admitted that he started the fire,” Robinson said in an affidavit.
Dickey was then arrested and charged with violated U.S. Forest Service regulations by causing a fire without a permit, which is a misdemeanor. However, as part of his plea agreement, Dickey will also have to pay $100,000 in restitution upon sentencing and another $120,000 in monthly installments of $500 for the next 20 years. In addition to all that, he will also be sentenced to 5 years probation, according to the Tucson.
“It was a complete accident,” Dickey said of the incident. “I feel absolutely horrible about it. It was probably one of the worst days of my life.”