All Defendants in the Hunters Brooke Arson Now Stand Convicted
Roy T. McCann, age 23, of Waldorf, Maryland pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit arson in connection with the December 6, 2004 fire at the Hunters Brooke development in Charles County, Maryland and conspiracy to distribute Ecstasy, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
United States Attorney Rod Rosenstein stated, "The harm suffered by the victims of this horrible tragedy cannot be erased. We hope that this guilty plea will give them some comfort, as all of the criminals charged in connection with the Hunter's Brooke arson have now been convicted."
ATF Special Agent in Charge Gregory Gant said, "We in ATF know firsthand the impact that arson has on a community. Our hope is that the residents of Hunter's Brooke can take some solace in the fact that all of the area's law enforcement agencies worked around the clock to ensure that justice was done and these criminals would be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
I am pleased the cooperative efforts among the investigating agencies and prosecutors have resulted in the successful conclusion of these court proceedings. It is my sincere hope the convictions will give the victims of this crime a sense of closure and safety that can only be brought about when justice is served, said Charles County Sheriff Frederick E. Davis.
According to the statement of facts provided to the court as part of the plea agreement, from October 1 to December 6, 2004 McCann conspired with Patrick Walsh, age 22, of Ft. Washington, Maryland, Jeremy Parady, age 22, of Accokeek, Aaron Speed, age 22, and Michael McIntosh Everhart, age 21, both of Waldorf, to commit arson at 35 houses under construction in the Hunters Brooke development. Knowing of the plans of the conspirators on the evening of December 5-6, 2004, McCann assisted Walsh and the other conspirators in preparing for the arson and, in the early morning hours of December 6, traveled to Hunters Brooke as a participant in the arson with his co-conspirators. To carry out the scheme, the conspirators poured flammable materials into containers and placed the containers within and around numerous houses. None of the houses were occupied at the time of the fires. To conceal the flammable materials, the conspirators used common containers such as drywall buckets, detergent bottles and other large plastic containers. The conspirators poured other accelerants in the entranceways and other areas of the houses. Using flares, matches and propane torches, the conspirators lit the flammable materials, causing a series of fires which destroyed or damaged several houses in various stages of construction. The approximate amount of loss attributable to McCann is $3,274,538.42.
Also according to the statement of facts, between January and December 2004, McCann also conspired with Patrick Walsh and others to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at least 250 tablets of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly known as Ecstasy. Each tablet contained 250 mg of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine.
Parady , Speed and Everhart pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson. Parady and Speed were sentenced to 87 months and 100 months in prison, respectively. Everhart is scheduled to be sentenced on September 8, 2006 at 9:00 a.m. Walsh was convicted in September, 2005 of conspiracy to commit arson and 35 counts of arson, and was sentenced to 235 months in prison. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus also ordered that each defendant pay restitution of $3,274,538.42.
McCann faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 5 years and a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the arson charge and 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for conspiracy to distribute Ecstasy. McCann remains detained pending sentencing, which Judge Titus has scheduled for November 8, 2006.