Raymon Carter
Raymon Carter (Handout photo courtesy Baltimore Police Department)

A 24-year-old Baltimore man has been sentenced to four years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for the burning of a CVS pharmacy in West Baltimore during April's unrest, according to Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

Raymon Carter, who pleaded guilty in September to committing arson during the act of rioting, also will have to pay $500,000 in restitution under the agreement. Damage to the building was estimated at $1.1 million.


The deal helped him avoid a separate federal arson charge that could have put him behind bars for five years.

Carter was charged after community members helped officials with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives identify him from surveillance video images, officials said.

Video showed Carter arriving at the corner of North and Pennsylvania avenues — where the burning of the CVS became an indelible image of the spring rioting — and entering the CVS, which looters had breached an hour earlier, according to his plea agreement.

Store surveillance video showed him attempting to break into a safe inside the store, then repeatedly returning to a corner of the store that held paper towels and toilet paper until a flash of light, believed to be the ignition of the fire, caused looters to flee, according to the agreement.

Carter's attorney, public defender Premal Dharia, said in September that Carter "is incredibly remorseful" for his actions, and noted that the prison sentence Carter received Tuesday would be his first.

"He intends to spend this period of incarceration reflecting on his actions, and on ways to return to this community as an upstanding member," Dharia said at the time. "This was an uncharacteristic error in judgment on a day in which many in the city became carried away by their frustration and caused damage to the very communities in which they live."

The pharmacy building, gutted by the fire, was demolished, but is being rebuilt by CVS.

Officials said they are continuing their investigation into the CVS fire and others that broke out across the city on April 27. Anyone with information is asked to call the ATF hotline, 1-888-ATF-FIRE.

The agency is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for the fires.