A Batesville man is accused of setting fire to a state probation office in an apparent bid to destroy a drug test that showed he had been using methamphetamine, authorities said.
Douglas McArthur Adams III, 51, was indicted federally Wednesday on a single count of malicious use of fire in the June 10 arson at the Arkansas Department of Community Correction building in Batesville, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas said in a news release.
Authorities say Adams was required to undergo drug testing while on release from state charges, including one for possession of methamphetamine, when on June 6 he reported for a screening and tested positive for the illegal drug.
Four days later, responders were called in the middle of the night to the Batesville community correction office after a motion detector went off. They found a rear door broken and the building on fire.
"Evidence gathered at the scene indicated the fire appeared to have started in a room adjacent to the refrigerator used to store drug-testing urine samples," the news release said. "Investigators reported an accelerant such as gasoline had been poured on the floor."
Surveillance captured a truck similar to the one Adams drives in the area just before the fire started, the release said.
Adams was arrested a day after the fire when his bond was revoked because of his positive drug test. The release said evidence collected then and other evidence from the office "tied Adams to the crime scene."
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas Christopher Thyer called the arson a "senseless act."
"Thankfully, the local law enforcement and fire department were cognizant of preservation of the crime scene in their response to the fire," Thyer said. "Together with the Arkansas State Police and ATF investigators, the evidence was presented to my office resulting in our indictment [Wednesday]."
Adams faces up to 20 years in prison on the federal charge.