Grand jury indicts St. Louis man for arson and possession of a destructive device

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ST. LOUIS – A federal grand jury indicted 23-year-old Rashaad Cotton for arson and one count of possession of a destructive device on Wednesday. Police arrested the St. Louis resident on April 30, 2021.

According to the indictment, on April 30, 2021, Cotton maliciously tried to damage and destroy a building located in the 1400 block of Beale Street in St. Charles, Missouri using fire and explosive materials.

Cotton knowingly possessed a destructive device (Molotov cocktail) consisting of a glass bottle filled with an ignitable liquid with a wick inserted into the neck of the bottle.  

For the arson count, Cotton faces a maximum punishment of at least five years but not more than 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.   For the destructive device count, the maximum punishment is 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

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Charges set forth in the indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty. 

The St. Charles Police Department and ATF are investigating this case.  The case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney John Ware.

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