Man pleads guilty to federal rioting charge

Posted at 5:28 PM, Sep 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-16 17:28:26-04

A Baltimore man pleaded guilty to the federal crime of rioting Wednesday for his role in the April riots in the city, including setting fire to a CVS Pharmacy.

According to his plea agreement, 24-year-old Raymon Carter used a phone to discuss plans to go to the scene of riots that broke out after the funeral of Freddie Gray on April 27, according to a release from the U.S. State's Attorney's Office in Maryland.

Carter was seen on video watching the rioting near the CVS in the 2500 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, going into the pharmacy, looking at pharmaceuticals, trying to open a safe and going to and from the area where investigators say the fire started.

Carter admitted that he meant to start a fire and used paper products in that part of the store to light the blaze.

Surveillance video shows a flash of light and Carter running away from the area toward the exit.

The ATF released still photos and on July 1 got a hotline tip about where Carter might be. When he was arrested Carter had two black lighters in his pockets.

The estimated cost of the building alone is $1.1 million. As part of the plea agreement, Carter will be  sentenced to serve four years in prison and ordered to pay restitution. The exact amount will be decided at sentencing, which is scheduled to take place Nov. 17.

“The most important aspects of this case are that Raymon Carter will be punished for participating in the riot and that ordinary citizens concerned about their neighborhood helped to catch him,” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a release. “Federal law prohibits people from traveling across a state line or using a telephone to participate in a civil disturbance that involves acts of violence, and this case sends a message that we intend to use it. Anyone who considers participating in a riot should know that police, prosecutors and citizens will track them down and send them to prison.”