U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Western District of Virginia
310 First Street, S.W., Room 906
Roanoke, Virginia 24011-1935
Phone: (540) 857-2974
Fax: (540) 857-2179
For Immediate Release
June 11, 2009
Julia C. Dudley, United States Attorney
Contact: Brian McGinn, Public Affairs Specialist
Florida Man Indicted for Setting 2003 Fire that Destroyed Strasburg, Virginia Restaurant
William Webelir Is Accused of Burning Bad Water Bill’s Barbeque Barn to Impress Local Motorcycle Club
United States Attorney Julia C. Dudley and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge Edgar A. Domenech announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging William Wardell Webelir, a.k.a “Cosmo”, age 56, of Port Richey, Florida, with arson related to a October 2003 fire that destroyed Bad Water Bill’s Barbeque Barn, a restaurant in Strasburg, Virginia.
Webelir was indicted by a federal Grand Jury sitting in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke on May 7, 2009. The grand jury charged the defendant with one count of maliciously damaging and destroying by means of fire a business that was used in interstate commerce. The blaze destroyed Bad Water Bill’s, causing approximately $295,360 worth of damage.
“Arson is a serious crime that puts many lives at risk,” United States Attorney Julia C. Dudley said today. “Not only the lives of people in or near the structure are at risk, but the lives of the brave men and women who attempt to put out the fire are also placed in harms way. People must be aware, if you set fire to a building, you will be caught and we will prosecute you.”
According to the indictment, on October 25, 2003, the Titan Motorcycle Club, which is considered a support club or “duck” for the Hell’s Angles Motorcycle Club, was scheduled to host a bike show at Bad Water Bill’s Barbeque Barn. The presence of Hell’s Angels in the Strasburg, Virginia area was a matter of concern and anger for the local Pagan Motorcycle Club. In the early morning hours of October 25, 2003, Webelir and perhaps an associate or associates of the Pagan Motorcycle Club, allegedly intentionally set fire to the restaurant.
The indictment was unsealed today after Webelir’s arrest. If convicted on all counts, the maximum penalty faced by the defendant is 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.
The investigation of the case was conducted by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant United States Attorney Thomas J. Bondurant is prosecuting the case for the United States.
A Grand Jury indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendant is entitled to a fair trial with the burden on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.