A Jefferson County man is facing federal charges in connection with a 2009 fire that destroyed a large part of the former St. Clair Livestock Auction Barn off Highway 47.
A recently unsealed federal grand jury indictment charges Gregory M. Cromer, 63, Cedar Hill, with three felony counts in connection with the fire Jan. 8, 2009.
The indictment comes at the conclusion of a three-year investigation by the Franklin County arson investigator and sheriff’s office, and agents with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Cromer, who owned the center, was expected to surrender to authorities Tuesday.
Crews from seven area fire companies fought the blaze which was reported shortly before 4 a.m. There were no injuries and no livestock was being housed at the center at the time of the blaze.
The federal indictment alleges in count one that Cromer “maliciously attempted to damage and destroy, by means of fire and explosive materials the building at 8207 Highway 47” known as “the St. Clair Livestock Auction Barn, used in interstate commerce.”
The second and third counts make the same allegations pertaining to damage to two 2007 Sundowner horse trailers, “which personal property was used in interstate commerce and an activity affecting interstate commerce.”
A total of six trailers were parked in front of the center which included an office area. Four of those trailers were not damaged.
The livestock barn and office were located behind Cromer Motors, a used car business.