RIVERSIDE – A Palm Desert man has been arrested and was charged today, Sept. 10, 2020, for an arson that happened in May at the East Valley Republican Women Federated building in La Quinta.
Carlos Espriu, DOB: 5-22-97, was arrested about 6:30 p.m., Sept. 9, 2020, by members of the Riverside County Gang Impact Team, which is supervised by the DA’s Bureau of Investigation. Espriu was booked at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside where he was being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
Espriu has been charged by the DA’s Office with one count of arson of a structure during a state of emergency with an enhancement of using a device designed to accelerate a fire or delay ignition, and one count of igniting a destructive device with the intent to destroy property.
He is also facing federal charges as the U.S. Attorney’s Office has today, Sept. 10, 2020, named Espriu in a federal criminal complaint.
The fire was reported just after 1:30 a.m. on May 31, 2020, at the building in the 78000 block of Highway 111 in La Quinta. After CAL FIRE firefighters extinguished the small fire inside the building, arson investigators determined it was intentionally set and caused by an incendiary device. Investigators found three glass bottles containing ignitable liquid inside the building – one bottle that was broken and burned, the other two still intact.
Further investigation by investigators with the DA’s Bureau of Investigation led to the identification of Espriu as the suspect in arson.
A joint operation between the Gang Impact Team and investigators with the DA’s Special Activity Unit resulted in Espriu’s arrest. Investigators determined that Espriu was attending a party in Indio on Sept. 9 and stopped a vehicle he was driving when he left the party.
The state case, RIF2003114, is being prosecuted by Deputy DA Melanie Deutsch of the DA’s Major Crimes Division.
The mission of the Riverside County Gang Impact Team (GIT), a multi-agency team, is to make a direct impact on the public safety of Riverside County communities using typical and unconventional law enforcement strategies and tactics to proactively address violent and firearm-related crimes and quality of life issues.
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