By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson
ECM file photo, left, of Karas.
Aug. 16, 2021 (La Mesa) Twenty-nine-year-old Zachary Alexander Karas was sentenced to 33 months in Federal custody on Aug. 13, according to court documents, for possessing explosive devices, Molotov cocktails, during the La Mesa riots in May of 2020.
The protests were in response to racial justice and policing issues.
In court documents Karas claimed he made the decision to make Molotov cocktails while he was under the influence of alcohol.
According to the U.S. attorney’s office Karas could have faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. An appeal has already been filed.
Karas was convicted in May 2021.
ECM wrote several articles on Zachary Alexander Karas with the latest regarding his conviction:
In said story, written by ECM editor Miriam Raftery, she wrote: “A timeline released by La Mesa Police Dept. indicated that Molotov cocktails were thrown at the La Mesa Police Station during a protest there earlier in the evening. Several vehicles were burned including a Heartland Fire battalion chief’s vehicle and pickup truck and a Vons truck. Spot fires were ignited in several structures including City Hall. Three buildings burned to the ground: Chase Bank, Union Bank, and the Randall Lamb historic building."
Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman, according to court records, said: “This defendant’s conduct endangered the welfare of officers and protesters,” and added, “Today’s sentence should send a clear message to those who choose violence as a form of expression.”