A Texas man who set fire to approximately 22 cell towers was sentenced to six and a half years in prison last week, according to court records.

As first reported by Wireless Estimator, Sean Aaron Smith, 30, of San Antonio, Texas, is believed to have caused approximately $1.1 million worth of damage.

Cell tower fire
– Getty Images

Prosecutors said Smith “maliciously attempted to damage and destroy, using fire, multiple cellular telephone towers around San Antonio between April 2021 and May 2022.”

Smith held anti-5G and anti-government views, according to prosecutors, and was also slapped with gun charges.

He faced a penalty of five to 20 years in prison for each charge related to arson and up to 10 years in prison for the firearms charge.

The 30-year-old was arrested during a traffic stop on May 13, 2022, during which law enforcement officers located a handgun on the floorboard in front of the driver’s seat.

Investigators executed a search warrant for Smith’s apartment on May 15, 2022, and found additional firearms.

Smith had previously been convicted of possessing firearms on two occasions, serving more than a year imprisonment on each.

“Witnesses reported the defendant was on a ‘mission’ to destroy the 5G towers because he hated the government and believed they were spying on him,” Assistant US Attorney Mark Roomberg wrote in a sentencing memorandum.

“The SAFD arson investigator’s expert opinion is the modus operandi of the other 16 cellular tower arsons match the six towers for which the Defendant pled guilty and that the same person committed all 22 arsons,” he said.

Smith pleaded guilty in August to six counts of arson of cellphone towers and two counts of felon in possession of a firearm.

He had been supported by a friend, Coley Lane Dupre, 19, who led authorities to charge Smith with the arson incidents. She was accused of setting a tower on fire on May 24, 2021. Dupre, who was shown surveillance images of the fire, confirmed to investigators that she was with Smith as his “lookout.”

It's not known if any charges have been brought against Dupre.

“My office will not tolerate attacks on our critical infrastructure seeking to shut down our cellular telephone system and endangering our citizens who need to use our 911 emergency systems,” said US Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas.

“An attack on the infrastructure of a community has the potential for devastating effects."

During the height of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020, there were several false conspiracy theories shared online suggesting that 5G was causing the spread of the virus.

It led mobile operators to urge the conspiracists to stop attacking the infrastructure and spreading misinformation on the Internet.

In 2020, a man from Liverpool, England, was sentenced to three years in jail for setting fire to a telephone mast due to his belief that 5G was linked to the Coronavirus.