California Man in Federal Custody for 2008 Arson of Salem Convenience Store
PORTLAND, Ore. - Birkamal Singh, 31, of San Jose, California, was arrested in San Jose on November 2, 2012, by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on a federal indictment for arson that destroyed the EZ Market, a convenience store at 3185 River Road North in Salem, Oregon, on October 17, 2008. The indictment, filed in Portland on October 30, 2012, also alleges the fire caused personal injury to another person, listed as 's .M. - Singh was the owner and operator of the EZ Market and resided in Salem at the time of the fire.
Singh appeared before a United States Magistrate Judge in San Jose on Friday, November 2, and was ordered held in custody pending a detention hearing on Wednesday, November 7. Federal prosecutors will seek his return to Oregon to face trial on the indictment. An indictment is only an allegation of a crime, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
The indictment was the result of a four-year investigation by ATF, the Salem Police Department, the Salem Fire Department, and the Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen F. Peifer in Portland.