Charges have been dismissed for a south Lafourche man accused of conspiring to torch a boat belonging to a business competitor.
Max Scott Cheramie, 31, of Cut Off, was charged last year with principal to simple arson and criminal conspiracy, authorities said. However, those charges were dropped Aug. 26, prosecutors said.
Three other men were arrested in connection to the crime. Anthony Bouffanie Jr., 44, of Galliano, pleaded guilty Jan. 17 to principal to simple arson and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Adam Theriot III, 36, of Lafourche Parish, pleaded guilty to simple arson Oct. 9 and received a five-year sentence.
Charges for a fourth suspect, Gabriel Cheramie, 48, of Golden Meadow, are still pending, prosecutors said.
During an interview Thursday, Max Cheramie said he was relieved to put the ordeal behind him and move on. He said the incident cost him three jobs and thousands of dollars.
“It’s like a weight lifted off my shoulders,” he said. “It was 13 months where my name was getting thrown out there, and I know I didn’t do anything. Every time you Googled my name this popped up.”
The four men were arrested in connection to a November 27, 2017, boat fire investigation on West 186th Street in Galliano, authorities said.
A boat sustained heavy fire damage to its back end where investigators found a gas can with a rag used as a wick, authorities said. They determined the fire had been intentionally set.
The boat’s owner had put the vessel in his yard so it could be serviced before he launched a new charter fishing business, authorities said. He told investigators he was suspicious that his former employer, Max Cheramie, was involved in the fire because he had recently left his business to start his own.
Max Cheramie said he disputed those accusations and maintained his innocence.
Authorities said Theriot and Gabriel Cheramie admitted their involvement after they were arrested.
Since the case is still pending, prosecutors said they could not comment at this time.
Gabriel Cheramie’s next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 17.
--Staff Writer Dan Copp can be reached at 448-7639 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter@DanVCopp.