Skip to main content
Press Release

Hyattsville Man Facing Federal Indictment Related to a Firebombing on March 4, 2016

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maryland

Greenbelt, Maryland – A federal grand jury charged Richard Butler III, age 34, of Hyattsville, Maryland, with being a felon in possession of an explosive, transportation of explosive materials with intent to injure, and use of a destructive device during a crime of violence, in connection with a firebombing on March 4, 2016.  The indictment was returned on August 31, 2016.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Daniel L. Board, Jr. of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives - Baltimore Field Division; and Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Chief Marc S. Bashoor.

According to the three count indictment, on March 4, 2016, Butler manufactured one or more improvised incendiary bombs at a gas station on Landover Road in Hyattsville, then used those bombs to set fire to a victim’s apartment in Hyattsville.  The indictment alleges that Butler used the improvised incendiary bombs with the intent to kill or injure the victim and to destroy the building and property of the victim. Butler had previously been convicted of a felony and was therefore prohibited from possessing explosives.

Butler faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for being a felon in possession of an explosive; 10 years in prison for transportation of explosive materials with intent to injure; and a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 years and up to life in prison for using an explosive device during a crime of violence.  An initial appearance has not yet been scheduled for Butler in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt.  Butler is currently detained on unrelated state charges in the District of Columbia.

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. 

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the ATF and Prince George’s County Fire/EMS for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer R. Sykes, who is prosecuting the case.

Updated September 1, 2016

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime