A 25-year-old Long Lake man has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for firebombing the Dakota County courthouse during the civil unrest that followed George Floyd's death in May.
Garrett Ziegler pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting arson in U.S. District Court this week, and was sentenced to 60 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay more than $200,000 restitution for the damage.
He was one of two men who in the early hours of May 29 – while widespread protests and riots continued across Minneapolis-St. Paul – broke windows of the Dakota County Western Service Center in Apple Valley using baseball bats.
Then, along with Fornandous Henderson, Ziegler threw Molotov cocktails into the broken windows, causing a fire that damaged the courthouse.
The pair then started and attempted to start other fires at the courthouse using ignitable liquids and throwing unlit Molotov cocktails.
According to the office of U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald, Ziegler targeted the courthouse because he was "angry at law enforcement."
Henderson, who was previously sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to the same crime, chose the service center as he had previously had court appearances there, and he too was angry at law enforcement.
Ziegler also admitted in his guilty plea that he bought the materials needed to make Molotov cocktails between May 26-28, including mason jars, pushpins and other sharp objects, isopropyl alcohol, nail polish remover, bottles of high-proof alcohol, lighter fluid, and bandanas/scarves.