Suspect in pharmacy fire during Baltimore riots charged with arson

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 02, 2015 6:31 PM

By John Clarke

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A man who prosecutors allege torched a drugstore that came to symbolize the rioting in Baltimore in April was charged on Thursday with federal arson violations that carry the possibility of a 20-year prison sentence.

Raymon Carter, 24, was arrested Wednesday after a authorities released a wanted poster with his picture and posted a $10,000 reward. 

Violence broke out in Baltimore following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died from injuries sustained while in police custody. Six police officers have been charged in his death.

Nearly 400 businesses across Baltimore were damaged or destroyed in the hours following Gray's funeral, authorities have said.

Video surveillance shows Carter lighting a fire inside the west Baltimore CVS pharmacy and running away at about 6:20 p.m. on April 27, prosecutors said. 

"Those committing arson took advantage of our city when we were most vulnerable," Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said in a statement on Thursday.

Carter faces five to 20 years in prison if convicted of the federal arson violations cited in the criminal complaint filed on Thursday.

A detention hearing was scheduled for July 7.

(Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Alan Crosby)