ALHAMBRA ( — A man pleaded not guilty on Monday after he was accused of 18 counts of setting, or trying to set, a series of fires in Pasadena, South Pasadena, and Los Angeles.

Javier Adolfo Viera, 35, has been charged with 10 counts of arson of a structure or forest, six counts of arson of property, as well as another two counts of attempting or aiding in an attempt to burn a structure, forest, or property.

A date will be set on June 5 for a preliminary hearing that will determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to advance to trial.

Viera is suspected in 21 arson or attempted arson incidents in South Pasadena, four in Pasadena, and one in Los Angeles since mid-November. The events started as small vegetation fires and intensified to blazes, set under or involving parked vehicles. One attempted fire involved the exterior door to a business.

Fingerprints were recovered from an incendiary device that did not completely burn, leading to a break in the case, according to authorities.

Viera was under surveillance by detectives at the time he was arrested April 21 in connection with a car fire in Los Angeles.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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