A 32-year-old Grafton man has been sentenced to seven years in prison following a series of incidents in Carleton County including an arson in Woodstock. 

Matthew Jacob Johnston was sentenced in Woodstock Provincial Court on March 23.

The charges stem from several criminal acts that occurred between January and October 2020 in the Jacksonville, Florenceville and Woodstock areas, according to Sgt. Brendan Flewelling of the Western Valley Region RCMP.

On October 15, 2020, police executed a search warrant at a residence in Newburg, N.B. in connection with a string of thefts. RCMP said a significant number of stolen items were recovered from the property, including three all-terrain vehicles, a pickup truck, multiple generators and ammunition.

Three days later, police responded to an arson in Woodstock in which several vehicles were burned outside a residence.

The following day, police were called to Jacksonville after shots were reportedly fired towards a home. No one was injured in either case, Sgt. Flewelling said.

Members of the RCMP Forensic Identification Services assisted with the investigation and were able to identify Johnston as a person of interest. He was arrested on October 22, 2020 by members of the New Brunswick RCMP's Emergency Response Team in Fredericton.

"These incidents had a deep impact on our communities and their sense of security," Sgt. Flewelling said. "Through diligent police work, we were able to find the person responsible and bring him to justice, as well as return thousands of dollars of stolen property to the rightful owners."

If you have any information about, or suspect, illegal activity in your neighbourhood, you are  asked to contact your local police. Information can also be provided anonymously through New Brunswick Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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