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Man accused of torching Wyoming auto business now faces federal charges

Kevin D. Baker was charged in January with seven felonies stemming from a break-in and fire at Austin-Jordan Engines; now the feds have stepped in.

A man facing multiple felonies for breaking into a Wyoming auto business and setting it on fire now has federal charges added to the list.

A federal indictment this week accuses 33-year-old Kevin Daniel Baker of arson and possession of a stolen firearm.

Baker is being held in the Kent County Jail on state charges; his federal court appearance hasn’t been scheduled.

He’s accused of breaking into Austin-Jordan Engines on Jan. 17 and setting the business on fire before fleeing in the owner’s car. 

Baker told police he stole checks, the owner’s Camaro and a handgun, according to court records.

Fire heavily damaged the business at 4259 Clyde Park Avenue SW. Owner Jason Jordan in February pegged losses at $800,000.

After the fire was put out, investigators discovered the break-in. Baker was arrested the next day after he visited a Wyoming check-cashing business with checks taken in the break-in, police said.

He was charged with seven felony offenses, including breaking and entering, third-degree arson, car theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Three of the offenses are each punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

RELATED: Break-in, theft and $800,000 blaze shakes Wyoming business owner

Now that federal charges have been filed, the state case may eventually be dismissed, Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said.

The federal arson charge says Baker “maliciously damaged and attempted to destroy, by means of fire, a building used in interstate commerce and engaged in activity affecting interstate commerce.’’

He’s also charged with possession of a stolen firearm, specifically, a 9mm semiautomatic pistol, “knowing and having reasonable cause to believe that the firearm was stolen.’’

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