Man Accused Of Starting Meth Fire Now Facing Federal Charges

By Lee Hermiston, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — A Cedar Rapids man accused of starting a fire while cooking meth now faces federal charges.

Online court records show that state charges manufacturing of meth, first-degree arson, two counts of meth precursors, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia were dismissed against 33-year-old Christopher R. Falls at the beginning of July. Earlier this week, Falls was charged in federal court with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and attempting and abetting the attempt to manufacture methamphetamine.

A co-conspirator, 63-year-old Carl E. Hayes, aka “Grizz,” has been charged along with Falls.

Cedar Rapids police arrested Falls on May 15 after police and fire officials responded to a fire at his apartment at 1611 Park Towne Lane NE. Responding units encountered smoke coming from the first floor of the three-story building. They made entry and contained the fire to the kitchen area of the apartment, though there was smoke damage throughout the apartment, officials said.

While investigating the fire, investigators discovered evidence that suggested Falls was attempting to make meth in the apartment.

The extent of Hayes’ involvement in the meth manufacturing and fire is not detailed in the two-page federal complaint, except to indicate that, beginning on May 14 and continuing to May 15, the two men collaborated to manufacture meth.

Falls as previously been arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession of meth precursors, possession of a firearm as a felon and unlawful possession of prescription drugs. Earlier this year, he was charged in Linn County with first-degree arson and possession of meth precursors, according to online court records.

Hayes also has a prior record in Iowa. Earlier this year, he received five years of probation for charges of controlled substance violation and first-degree theft in Delaware County.

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