Police arrest Raymon Carter, suspect in CVS fire

The Baltimore Sun
Police arrested Raymon Carter, who allegedly set fire to a CVS during Baltimore's riots.

Raymon Carter, who police say set fire to a West Baltimore CVS store during the riots following Freddie Gray's death, was arrested Wednesday and faces up to 20 years in prison, according to police.

Carter, 24, is charged with federal arson violations, police and federal authorities said at a news conference. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, police said.

Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said Carter's actions on April 27 caused more than $1 million worth of damage.

On that day, the CVS Pharmacy at 2509 Pennsylvania Ave. was looted in midst of a erruption of violence, crime and arson across the city on the day of Freddie Gray's funeral. According to the affidavit, surveillance video from the incident shows Carter on camera after the appearance of a flash of light that is believed to be the ignition of the fire. No other individual appears in that area on the video until Carter exits the store, police said.

On May 22, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released photographs of a suspect in the arson and announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to identification, arrest and conviction. Consequent tips pointed to Carter, police said.

"Raymon Carter burned a CVS — our CVS — to the ground. The very same CVS that people who live in that neighborhood relied on for their medication, for their food, for toiletries in that community," Batts said. "He is a criminal that took advantage of our city when we were most vulnerable."

Federal agents from ATF obtained a warrant for Carter's arrest Monday.

Relying in part on tips from the community, ATF officers located Carter in Federal Hill on Wednesday, according to Special Agent in Charge William McMullan. Carter fled, ignoring commands to stop, but was arrested, McMullan said.

McMullan said it appears Carter acted alone in the CVS fire, but the investigation continues. ATF continues to offer a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals involved in arson on April 27.

Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said efforts of the department's "post-riot task force" have led to the arrests of about a dozen adults and seven juveniles, as well as eight outstanding arrest warrants. Charges include reckless endangerment, assault, robbery, destruction of property, burglary and theft.

Batts said Carter's arrest does not end the department's investigation into crimes committed during the unrest. "For those who have destroyed our stores, who have thrown rocks at our officers, we're coming," he said.

Gray's death from injuries suffered while in police custody triggered protests that led to looting and rioting. Prosecutors have brought criminal charges against six officers involved in his arrest or transport.

cjedra@baltsun.com

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