Two Minnesota Lake men, who were already facing felony charges in Faribault County for a May vandalism spree, have been charged with arson and animal cruelty in Blue Earth County.

The charges were filed Wednesday against Blair Allen Oachs, 18, and Jacob John Thomas Maras, 19. Another man, 18-year-old Anthony Allan Bach of Mapleton, was charged with second-degree arson and animal cruelty in juvenile court in August. He was 17 years old when the charges were filed.

The teens are accused of doing thousands of dollars in damage to several properties within a 10-mile radius of Minnesota Lake last spring.

Shortly after the string of crimes was reported, Mapleton Police Chief Ben Honsey received an anonymous tip that the three suspects were responsible. Several abandoned properties had been set on fire, mailboxes had been smashed and 10 lambs had been beaten with blunt objects at an unoccupied sheep farm outside of Mapleton.

Three of the lambs were dead when they were found May 7. Six more lambs had to be killed because they had severe skull and other bone fractures. Another $1,000 in damage had been done to the barn, according to the criminal complaints.

Detectives from the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Department were sent to Maple River High School on May 20 after Honsey received the tip. Honsey also told the investigators he had heard Oachs had changed the tires on his car after learning deputies had found tire tracks at one of the damaged properties.

The detectives interviewed the three suspects after finding a metal baseball bat in Oachs’ car. The bat had damage consistent with being used to strike other metal objects. The car also had new tires, the complaints said.

During the interviews, the detectives were told the suspects were involved in burning abandoned houses, beating the sheep, doing $3,000 in damage to a tractor left in a field, smashing mailboxes and other vandalism.

Only Oachs and Bach are accused of beating the sheep, but Maras is also charged because he was allegedly there. The arson charges are felonies. The charges related to the sheep deaths are misdemeanors.

In June, Oachs and Maras were charged in Faribault County with two counts of first-degree arson and one count of first-degree criminal damage to property. Those charges stem from the same vandalism spree.

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