Arson charges filed in Frankford blaze

Federal prosecutors have filed arson charges against two men who allegedly set a four-alarm fire that gutted a Frankford factory and shut down train service on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor in December 2012.

United States Attorney Zane David Memeger on Friday announced grand jury indictments against James Pickup, 30, and Shawn Workman, 20, both of Philadelphia. The pair allegedly broke into Arco Sales Company, at 2211 Wakeling St., on Dec. 16, 2012, and stole computer equipment and liquor. They left the business, but returned later that morning, setting the fire to destroy any evidence of the burglary, according to the prosecutor.

Arco manufactured and sold renewable and nonrenewable aircraft, missile components and Naval items to federal government agencies. The arson resulted in a four-alarm fire that began at about 6:30 a.m. and burned for more than two hours before firefighters declared it under control.

Amtrak and SEPTA train traffic on the adjacent commuter railroad was halted during the blaze. No injuries were reported. A neighboring building may have sustained water and smoke damage.

If convicted, the defendants face mandatory minimum sentences of five years in prison and up to 20 years in prison, along with $250,000 fines and probation. ••