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The Police News
Arrest Made in Arson Case Damaging County Property
Richmond, TX

Richmond, TX – According to Fort Bend County Fire Marshal Justin Jurek, the Community Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to 19310 Beechnut St. in Richmond in the evening hours of April 4, 2023, for a possible structure fire at the Fort Bend County Road and Bridge Facility.  Once on scene with a confirmed structure fire, the Community Volunteer Fire Department requested for a Fire Investigator from the Fort Bend County Fire Marshal’s Office to make scene to conduct an investigation of the fire to determine the origin and cause.

Fire Investigators determined the location to be a satellite office for the Fort Bend County Community Supervision and Corrections Department.  After a preliminary investigation, the fire was being investigated as an intentionally set fire.  The investigation eventually identified 29 year-old Andrew Huwar as the primary suspect.

Mr. Huwar was already on probation for a stalking charge in 2020. Once sufficient evidence was developed, fire investigators obtained an arrest warrant for Mr. Huwar on May 24, 2023.  On Thursday May 25, 2023, Huwar was taken into custody and booked into the Fort Bend County Jail with a bond set at $250,000.

“This is a case of thorough detective work and the arrest occurred primarily because of the investigative skills the Fire Marshal developed in their agency,” said District Attorney Brian Middleton.  “There are arsons they investigate in Fort Bend County that would go uninvestigated and unprosecuted in other counties.  The fire investigators went beyond establishing the probable cause that supported the arrest warrant, conducting additional searches and interviews, that led to important evidence.”

“I would like to extend our gratitude to the U.S. Marshals, Gulf Coast Violent Offender Task Force, and the Fort Bend County District Attorney’s Office for the teamwork and assistance making the arrest.  Additionally, we are thankful for our working relationship with the DA’s Office for their guidance on the judicial process,” said Fire Marshal Justin Jurek.  “I also want to recognize my team of arson investigators – David Zietz, Brandon Venegas, Robert Koryciak, and Robert Ruiz, for their hard work and dedication.  These gentlemen rotate through 24-hour on-call shifts, spending countless hours away from their families investigating fires throughout Fort Bend County. I am proud of each one of them and the high level of investigative work they accomplish.”

While the physical damage to county property is significant, this fire also damaged records and displaced probation officers who are public servants and court officers.  Probation officers work toward the rehabilitation of people charged with or convicted of crimes in our community.   

Adult arson cases are prosecuted by the Economic Crimes division of the DA’s Office.  Prosecutors have received specialized arson training sponsored by the Fire Marshal’s office.

“Through the cooperative relationship with the Fire Marshal’s office, both of our offices are stronger,” added Middleton.  “And that makes our communities safer.”