For Immediate Release
Baltimore Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charge for Obstructing Firefighters' Efforts to Fight CVS Fire During Baltimore Riots
Defendant Punctured High-Pressure Fire Hose at Pennsylvania & North Avenues
Baltimore, Maryland – Gregory Lee Butler, Jr., a/k/a Greg Baly, age 22, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to the federal indictment charging him with obstruction of firefighters during a civil disorder, in connection with a fire at CVS during the civil disturbance in Baltimore on April 27, 2015.
The guilty plea 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; 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 information presented at today’s plea hearing, 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. Once the hose was attached to the hydrant and the water was flowing into the hose, Butler admitted that he punctured the hose twice using a knife. 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. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for September 20, 2016, at 9:30 a.m.
Federal prosecutors have charged four other defendants for arson crimes committed during the Baltimore riots on April 27, 2015. Trevon Green, age 23, of Baltimore, is charged with malicious destruction of property by fire, for allegedly setting fire to a food store on North Monroe Street. Darius Raymond Stewart, age 22, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to malicious destruction of property by fire, arising from the arson of a liquor store. Stewart is scheduled to be sentenced on August 3, 2016. Donta Betts, age 20, of Baltimore, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for making a destructive device in connection with the April 27, 2015, riots in Baltimore and, in an unrelated case, for discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime on July 2, 2015. Raymon Carter, age 25, 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 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.