Arson suspect facing federal gun, drug counts

April 05, 2005|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Federal authorities filed gun and drug charges yesterday against a suspect accused in the arson fires that destroyed homes in an upscale Charles County development in December.

Patrick S. Walsh, 20, of Fort Washington was charged with "possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance" and with possession and intent to distribute Ecstasy and other drugs.

In previous court filings, prosecutors have described Walsh as the ringleader of a group of young men from the Waldorf area who set the fires, which caused $10 million in damage at the Hunters Brooke development in Indian Head. Walsh and four others were indicted in January on charges of arson, conspiracy to commit arson and aiding and abetting. All have pleaded not guilty.

The new charges against Walsh were part of a 38-count "superceding indictment" issued yesterday by a federal grand jury in Greenbelt. It also added to the list of properties damaged in the fires.

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