Suspect arrested for arson of Adams County Deputy’s home

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 2:36 PM CDT
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ADAMS COUNTY, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A 22-year-old man is in jail facing three felony counts for allegedly trying to burn down the home of a North Dakota Sheriff’s Deputy.

Zackery Mayo was booked into the Southwest Multi County Correctional Center on one count of felony arson and two counts of endangering a life by fire. The Adams County Sheriff’s Office says Mayo was one of three contractors that Chief Deputy Jeff Gooss hired to do renovations on his home.

On March 3, a 911 call was made to report a structure fire at 301 N. Main Street in Hettinger, ND. The home is owned by Chief Deputy Gooss, who is also the lead narcotics detective. Gooss’ family was not home at the time of the fire, as the house was being remodeled. The fire was quickly put out and damage was isolated to the living room.

After conducting interviews and reviewing security footage, investigators determined that Mayo intentionally set fire to the home and the other two workers were not aware of Mayo’s intentions.

Sheriff Jordan Fisher says Mayo has a lengthy history with Chief Deputy Gooss, as he has arrested Mayo’s girlfriend, girlfriend’s parents and mother on drug and child neglect charges.

“It is believed this was a targeted attack against Chief Deputy Gooss as pay back for ASCO’s zero tolerance drug stance,” Sheriff Fisher said. “While these may be scary times, your Sheriff’s Office will not cower or back away from protecting our community.”

In Chief Deputy Gooss’ own words, “If a doper isn’t trying to burn your house down, you’re not working hard enough.”

An arrest warrant for Zackery Mayo was obtained and he was taken into custody without incident.