A Long Lake man was sentenced to five years in prison for setting fires in a government building in Apple Valley as riots took place in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd.
Garrett Patrick Ziegler, 25, pleaded guilty on Friday in U.S. District Court to aiding and abetting arson. Ziegler and his associate in the case, Fornandous Cortez Henderson, broke windows with baseball bats and threw Molotov cocktails into the Dakota County Western Service Center at 14955 Galaxie Av. on May 29, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office news release.
The building housed a U.S. passport center and several court facilities.
As part of the guilty plea, Ziegler will also be on supervised release for three years and will have to pay $205,872 in restitution.
The two also poured ignitable liquids in and around the broken windows to start fires.
Henderson targeted the building because he was angry with law enforcement regarding the death of Floyd, according to the release. He also had previous court appearances there.
"Ziegler, who was also angry at law enforcement, agreed to the target because of its connection to law enforcement," the release said.
Ziegler admitted that he purchased materials to assemble the Molotov cocktails, including household items and flammable liquids, along with a baseball bat.
Target representatives confirmed to authorities that Ziegler was an employee at their Minnetonka store on 13201 Ridgedale Drive and had purchased some of the items on his Target debit card, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court.
Henderson was sentenced in December to more than six years for his involvement. He was convicted of aiding and abetting arson and ordered to pay $205,872 in restitution.
Alex Chhith • 612-673-4759