Federal Indictment for Interfering with Efforts to Fight CVS Fire During Baltimore Riots
Defendant Allegedly Disabled High-Pressure Fire Hose at Pennsylvania & North Avenues; Defendant is the Fourth Suspect Facing Federal Charges Related to Arsons During Baltimore Riots
Baltimore, Maryland – Gregory Lee Butler, Jr., a/k/a Greg Baly, age 22, of Baltimore, was arrested on federal charges today for obstruction of firefighters during a civil disorder and for aiding and abetting arson, in connection with a fire at CVS during the civil disturbance in Baltimore on April 27, 2015. The federal indictment was returned on December 1, 2015 and unsealed late on December 3, 2015.
“Anyone who considers harming people or property during a riot should know that we can track them down and send them to prison,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said. "Federal law enforcement agencies are working closely with local police and prosecutors to investigate crimes committed during the Baltimore riots."
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William P. McMullan of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; Commissioner Kevin Davis of the Baltimore Police Department; Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci; and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby.
According to the two count indictment, on April 27, 2015, riots erupted in Baltimore and at approximately 6:30 p.m. the Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD) was notified of a fire at the CVS Pharmacy located at 2509 Pennsylvania Avenue, which is adjacent to the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and West North Avenue in Baltimore. Several BCFD engines were dispatched to suppress and extinguish the fire at the CVS. Firefighters deployed fire hoses to provide water in those efforts and to protect firefighters inside and near the building. Throughout the course of BCFD’s fire suppression and extinguishment efforts, rioting continued in the vicinity of CVS Pharmacy.
One hose was attached to a hydrant near the intersection of Pennsylvania and West North Avenues. As the firefighters deployed the hose, the indictment alleges that Butler stood on top of the hose. Once the hose was attached to the hydrant and the water was flowing into the hose, Butler allegedly punctured the hose twice using a sharp object - first near its attachment to the fire hydrant and then on a section of the hose that extended along the ground across Pennsylvania Avenue. Both punctures released a high-pressure stream of water from the hose and rendered the hose inoperable. As a result, the efforts to put out the fire at the CVS were impeded and delayed.
Butler faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for obstruction of firefighters during a civil disorder, and a maximum of 20 years in prison for arson. An initial appearance is expected to be held on Monday, December 7, 2015, in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, but no time has been scheduled.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
Federal prosecutors previously have charged three other defendants for arson crimes committed during the Baltimore riot on April 27, 2015. Donta Betts, age 19, of Baltimore, is charged with attempted arson of a police cruiser, civil disorder and unlawful making of a destructive device. Darius Raymond Stewart, age 21, of Baltimore, is charged with malicious destruction of a commercial building for allegedly setting fire to a liquor store on West North Avenue. Raymon Carter, age 24, of Baltimore, Maryland, pleaded guilty to the federal crime of rioting, including the arson of the CVS Pharmacy on April 27, 2015, and was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $500,000.
The investigation into this and other arsons that occurred on April 27, 2015, is continuing. Anyone with information is urged to call the ATF hotline, 1-888-ATF-FIRE (1-888-283-3473). ATF continues to offer a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any individual responsible for these incidents.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the ATF, Baltimore Police Department, Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office and Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Philip A. Selden and Matthew J. Maddox, who are prosecuting the case.