Man accused in I-85 overpass fire could face federal charges

Basil Eleby (CBS46)

ATLANTA, Ga (AP) — Investigators say the man accused of starting the raging fire that caused the collapse of a major Atlanta interstate bridge could face federal charges.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assistant special-agent-in-charge James Deir tells WSB-TV Wednesday that Basil Eleby could be charged with federal offenses after the U.S. attorney’s office reviews the March 30 incident.

Eleby is already charged with first-degree arson and first-degree property damage and remains in jail on a $200,000 bond.

Police say the fire was started by Eleby who had talked about smoking crack prior to the fire that broke out under the bridge in an area where the state of Georgia stores noncombustible construction materials.

Eleby’s attorney, Liz Markowitz, says to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution her client is being used as a scapegoat.

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