DA: Suffolk officer committed arson to boost stature in fire department

Posted: Updated:
Weldon Drayton Weldon Drayton
RIVERHEAD -

A Suffolk County police officer was indicted on an arson charge Thursday morning.

Prosecutors said Weldon Drayton, 34, also a captain in the Central Islip Fire Department, acted in concert with another defendant to set fire to an abandoned home on Vanderbilt Drive last October.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini said Drayton “handpicked” the home as a target for arson.

“It's alleged that the fire was set so that Drayton could be the first to respond, thereby increasing his stature within the fire department,” said Sini.

In March, three others were arrested in connection with five arsons in the area, including the home on Vanderbilt. All of the structures were unoccupied at the time.

Sini says Drayton acted as a lookout while another person set the home on fire. He also says that Drayton deleted his cellphone data in an attempt to cover up the plan.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said in a statement that Drayton has been suspended.

“We will not tolerate criminal conduct by our members. The department worked in a collaborative manner with the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office throughout this investigation," said Hart.

Drayton pleaded not guilty to one count of arson and one count of tampering with evidence.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Police: Gas station attendant stabbed in chest during Patchogue armed robbery

    Police: Gas station attendant stabbed in chest during Patchogue armed robbery

    Thursday, June 21 2018 11:42 AM EDT2018-06-21 15:42:42 GMT
    Police say a man was stabbed in the chest during an early morning armed robbery in Patchogue.Police say a man was stabbed in the chest during an early morning armed robbery in Patchogue.

    According to police, three men entered Coastal gas station on West Main Street, displayed a knife and demanded cash around 1:10 a.m.

    According to police, three men entered Coastal gas station on West Main Street, displayed a knife and demanded cash around 1:10 a.m.

  • Office worker says delivery drivers taking up handicapped parking spots

    Office worker says delivery drivers taking up handicapped parking spots

    Thursday, June 21 2018 3:00 PM EDT2018-06-21 19:00:37 GMT
    An office worker in Ronkonkoma says Fed Ex, UPS and United States Postal Service workers are taking up handicapped parking spaces at her office building off Veterans Highway.An office worker in Ronkonkoma says Fed Ex, UPS and United States Postal Service workers are taking up handicapped parking spaces at her office building off Veterans Highway.
    An office worker in Ronkonkoma says Fed Ex, UPS and United States Postal Service workers are taking up handicapped parking spaces at her office building off Veterans Highway.An office worker in Ronkonkoma says Fed Ex, UPS and United States Postal Service workers are taking up handicapped parking spaces at her office building off Veterans Highway.

    An office worker in Ronkonkoma says Fed Ex, UPS and United States Postal Service workers are taking up handicapped parking spaces at her office building off Veterans Highway.

    An office worker in Ronkonkoma says Fed Ex, UPS and United States Postal Service workers are taking up handicapped parking spaces at her office building off Veterans Highway.

  • Islanders hire Barry Trotz as coach fresh off winning Stanley Cup

    Thursday, June 21 2018 2:47 PM EDT2018-06-21 18:47:56 GMT
    Barry Trotz after winning the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals.Barry Trotz after winning the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals.
    Barry Trotz after winning the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals.Barry Trotz after winning the Stanley Cup with the Washington Capitals.

    The New York Islanders have hired Barry Trotz as their new head coach. 

    The New York Islanders have hired Barry Trotz as their new head coach. 

  • SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards

    2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards

    The 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards were held at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.The 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards were held at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.
    The 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards were held at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.The 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards were held at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

    The 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards were held at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

    The 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards were held at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.

  • Just Married on Long Island

    Just Married on Long Island

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

    News 12 Long Island wants to announce your wedding. Share your pictures and videos with News 12 Long Island viewers!

  • KTUphoria rocks Jones Beach

    KTUphoria rocks Jones Beach

    Pitbull, the Backstreet Boys and others were at Jones Beach on Saturday, June 16, for KTU's KTUphoria.

    Pitbull, the Backstreet Boys and others were at Jones Beach on Saturday, June 16, for KTU's KTUphoria.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."