Indictment made in alleged mosque fire suspect’s case

VICTORIA- An indictment has been made in the case involving a Victoria man who prosecutors believe is responsible for a fire that destroyed the Victoria Islamic Center.

On Thursday, a federal grand jury returned an indictment against 25-year-old Marq Vincent Perez on a charge he possessed an unregistered destructive device in a unrelated incident. The indictment did not mention the mosque accusations.

Perez, who remains in federal custody, is expected to appear in court on Thursday, March 30 in Houston. His pre-trial hearing was held in Corpus Christi on March 9.

Perez’s Corpus Christi attorney Mark DiCarlo says an objection was made to the scheduled court hearing on Friday saying it was very short notice and it (would be) unfair since the evidence would be in Victoria.

DiCarlo also felt the jury pool would be more favorable to conviction if held in Houston.

Perez’s indictment stems from a car fire at a relative’s home in Victoria on January 15 using taped up fireworks. If convicted, the charge carries prison time and $250,000 fine.

Two weeks ago a prosecution team and investigators provided evidence in a pre-trial hearing that pointed Perez’s involvement in the January 28 fire at the Islamic Center.

This is a developing story.