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Baltimore man pleads guilty to CVS arson during rioting

A Baltimore man pleaded guilty Wednesday to the federal crime of rioting, including the arson of a CVS Pharmacy store during April’s civil unrest.

Raymon Carter, 24, will serve four years in prison under a deal with federal prosecutors. Sentencing has been scheduled for Nov. 17 in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Carter was captured on surveillance video entering the CVS in the 2500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue the night of April 27 and using an “open flame” to illuminate the pharmaceuticals on the shelves. He was then seen opening a safe. Later, video shows Carter walking multiple times in the area where the fire began.

Carter admitted “his intent was to start a fire and that he used paper products from that area of the store to set the fire,” according to prosecutors. After the fire starts, Carter is seen on video exiting the store.

Prior to arriving at the CVS, Carter used a phone to discuss plans to go to the scene of the riots, which began following the funeral of Freddie Gray. Federal law prohibits people from using a phone or traveling across state lines to participate in a civil disturbance that involves acts of violence, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement.

“Anyone who considers participating in a riot should know that police, prosecutors and citizens will track them down and send them to prison,” Rosenstein said.

Carter was identified by members of the public after the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives released photos from the surveillance videos. He was indicted in July.

Damage to the CVS has been estimated at $1.1 million. Carter will be required to pay restitution as part of his plea agreement, with the exact amount to be determined at sentencing, according to prosecutors.