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WI Man Pleads Guilty In Meatpacking Plant Fire

Mon, 08/24/2009 - 11:52am

MILWAUKEE (AP) — One of two brothers accused of sparking a $50 million fire at a Milwaukee-area meatpacking plant with a military-grade flare has pleaded guilty to related charges.

Twenty-three-year-old Joshua J. Popp pleaded guilty Monday to one count of second-degree recklessly endangering safety. His 25-year-old brother, Kurtis J. Popp, is expected to plead guilty to the same charge at his Sept. 1 arraignment. The charge carries up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

Prosecutors say Kurtis Popp fired a flare his brother gave him and that it landed on a roof at the Patrick Cudahy Inc. meatpacking plant in Cudahy. Four buildings were destroyed and thousands of residents were temporarily evacuated.

Defense attorneys say their clients regret what happened.

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