News

Serial Arsonist Sentenced to over 8 Years for Setting Nine Fires In Six Months at Springhill Lake Apartments


Fires Caused Over $2 Million in Damages

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2009

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced Jeremiah Christopher Jones, age 26, of Greenbelt, Maryland, today to 97 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release on nine counts of arson at the Springhill Lake apartment complex, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Williams set a restitution hearing for June 29, 2009. The government is seeking $2.4 million in restitution.

“Jeremiah Christopher Jones used fire as a weapon to terrorize a community, endanger the lives of residents and firefighters and cause millions of dollars in property damage,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “I am grateful to the local, state and federal agencies that committed the time and resources that were required to catch Jeremiah Christopher Jones and protect the community.”

“Jeremiah Jones is an arsonist who demonstrated a disregard for people’s lives in the sanctity of their homes,” says ATF Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop. “We are confident that this investigation has helped restore peace to this community by putting such a violent offender behind bars.”

According to the plea agreement, during the six-month period between March 25, 2007 and August 2, 2007, Jones intentionally set nine fires within the Springhill Lake complex in Greenbelt, resulting in over $2 million in damages. Jones used a lighter to set fire to items, including clothes, in concealed spaces that were close to other materials such as wiring, which would continue to burn after he had set the fire. In addition, Jones admitted that over the past three years he also set fire to at least three vehicles, a motorcycle, three dumpsters, a trash container and some bushes.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Prince Georges County Fire/EMS Department – Bureau of Fire Investigations; Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office; Greenbelt City Police Department; and the Hyattsville City Police Department for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney James A. Crowell IV, who prosecuted the case.

 

 

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