Raleigh man pleads guilty to setting fire to downtown Dollar General during George Floyd unrest

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A 27-year-old man faces up to 20 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to setting fire to the downtown Raleigh Dollar General during the unrest following the death of George Floyd in May 2020.

On May 30, 2020, a fire was set inside the Dollar General Express located at 149 E. Davie Street in downtown Raleigh. The fire was set amid unrest in Raleigh following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Richard Rubalcava on June 18, 2020. (Raleigh/Wake CCBI)

A federal indictment says surveillance video from the Dollar General Express shows it had been “looted by rioters.”

Richard Rubalcava, of Raleigh was identified as one of the suspects in the video. The federal indictment said Rubalcava stole several items from the store before coming back and setting an endcap on fire.

He was arrested on June 18 by special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives and was charged by indictment with two counts of maliciously damaging or destroying, or attempting to damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, any building or other real or personal property affecting interstate or foreign commerce.

Rubalcava was already in custody when the ATF arrested him.

Raleigh police arrested him on June 7 and charged him with felony inciting riot, attempted second-degree arson, and felony trespass during an emergency.

Rubalcava faces a statutory mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison, and a maximum fine of $250,000.

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