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Arson Charge Dropped in Moulin Rouge Fire

26 September 2003

The Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS -- First-degree arson charges in state court have been dropped against Fred Ball, one of two men arrested in connection with the blaze that destroyed the historic Moulin Rouge casino, but Ball could still face federal charges, his lawyer said.

Deputy Public Defender Lynn Avants said state prosecutors dropped one count each of first-degree arson and a conspiracy to commit arson against Ball, 45, also known as "Bubba," in the fire that destroyed the long-closed casino at 900 W. Bonanza Road.

He said Ball would likely face charges in federal court. District Attorney David Roger had said federal charges could come because the hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places. Ball is in federal custody but any charges pending against him are under seal.

A second man who faces charges in connection with the blaze, John Antwan Caver, nicknamed "Antman," still faces arson and conspiracy to commit arson charges.

Caver appeared Thursday during a hearing before Justice of the Peace William Jansen. He is out of police custody on a $3,000 bond. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 18.

Police said Ball, 45, acted as the lookout while Caver, 29, set the blaze.

Ball admitted to investigators that he helped set the fire, and implicated Caver as his co-conspirator, prosecutors said.

Damage from the fire was estimated at $12 million.

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