United States Attorney Brandon J. Fremin announced today that a criminal complaint was issued charging Terry Lemond Dorsey, age 21, Kenyatta Sheire Huggins, age 22, and Shamyrin Djhodi Johnson, age 22, all of Baton Rouge, with conspiracy to maliciously damage or destroy by fire buildings used in interstate commerce. The subjects had been previously arrested on state arson charges and were taken into custody on federal charges earlier today. These charges concern a series of arsons at four commercial properties in the Baton Rouge area.
The criminal complaint alleges that, on May 31, 2020, St. George Fire Protection District investigators responded to a fire at Tai Industries, Inc., 6410 Fieldstone Drive. On June 1, 2020, St. George Fire Protection District investigated another suspicious fire at AutoZone Auto Parts Store, 11554 Airline Highway. Also on June 1, 2020, Baton Rouge Fire Department investigators responded to two separate fires, at Tiger Tire Shop, 4415 Plank Road, and at AAA Tire Shop, 6160 Airline Highway. All four fires were determined to be arson.
The criminal complaint further alleges that, on June 4, 2020, Dorsey, Huggins, and Johnson were arrested on state charges connected to the four arsons and, after being advised of their Miranda rights, admitted to conspiring with each other to set fire to commercial buildings. They stated that, prior to setting the fires, they attended the protests on Siegen Lane in Baton Rouge. Each stated that he or she was motived to commit arson as part of the current protest activities concerning police conduct.
U.S. Attorney Fremin commended the outstanding actions and efforts of the law enforcement agencies who worked to quickly identify the suspects and bring these charges, including the St. George Fire Protection District, Baton Rouge Fire Department, Baton Rouge Police Department, East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, Louisiana State Fire Marshal, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul Pugliese. If convicted, each defendant faces a sentence of five to twenty years in prison.
A criminal complaint is merely an accusation. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.