Union Township man charged in arson conspiracy

Staff report

A Union Township man was charged for conspiracy to commit aggravated arson Dec. 22.

According to a release from Clermont County Sheriff A.J. “Tim” Rodenberg, Vijaykumar Patel, 47, of Union Township was arrested after an investigation revealed that he was attempting to contract with an individual to burn down a hotel he owns in Kentucky.

Clermont County Sheriff’s Office investigators and Clermont County Narcotics agents worked together with Kentucky State Police and agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives on the investigation concerning an arson for hire.

They found that Patel was attempting to contract with an individual to burn down The Comfort Inn, located at 164 Winning Colors Drive in Walton, Ky., in order to collect $5 million in insurance money.

“It was believed that Patel was also planning to leave the country,” Sheriff Rodenberg said in the release.

Patrol officers with the sheriff’s office responded to Patel’s residence in Union Township Dec. 22 and arrested him without incident.

He was transported to the Clermont County Jail and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit aggravated arson.

“I am most impressed with the outstanding work by a team of law enforcement officers who came together across jurisdictional lines and brought what could have been a tragedy to a rapid and uneventful conclusion,” Sheriff Rodenberg said.

Investigators are continuing to work with agents from the ATF and Kentucky State Police to review previous arson incidents that Patel may have been involved with.

Patel remains at the Clermont County Jail. He is scheduled for a bond hearing Dec. 24 in front of Judge George Pattison. He is also scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 3 p.m. Jan. 10 in front of Judge Pattison.