CAMDEN, N.J. – An Atlantic County, New Jersey, man has been arrested on charges that he participated in a riot in Atlantic City on May 31, 2020, following a day of otherwise peaceful protests, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced today.
Carlos A. Matchett, 30, of Atlantic City, New Jersey, was arrested June 3, 2020, by special agents of the FBI and is charged by complaint with use of a facility of interstate and foreign commerce, namely, a cellular telephone, and the social media platform Facebook, with intent to participate in and carry on a riot. Matchett will make his initial appearance today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen M. Williams.
According to the complaint:
During the evening of May 31, 2020, following protests in Atlantic City, a group of people engaged in a spree of rioting, destruction, and looting in and around the Tanger Outlets, an area known locally as “the Walk.” Police responded to the area and observed Matchett standing in the middle of a roadway shouting obscenities at law enforcement and enticing persons around him to join in looting. After Matchett refused orders to disperse, police arrested him. During a search, they found a knife, a hatchet, and a jar filled with gasoline inside a backpack that he was wearing.
Further investigation revealed that shortly before his arrest, Matchett made public postings on his Facebook page linking to a news article about looting in Philadelphia and remarking to others, “LET’S START A RIOT.” Matchett also posted a video on Facebook on May 31, 2020, that showed him encouraging and assisting others in the vicinity of the Tanger Outlets in Atlantic City to loot goods from smashed store fronts.
The charge in the complaint carry a maximum prison term of five years and a maximum fine of $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Douglas Korneski in Newark and the FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, whose members include the Atlantic City Police Department and New Jersey State Police, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked officers of the Atlantic City Police Department, under the direction of Police Chief Henry White, for their assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gabriel J. Vidoni of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Camden.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.