For Immediate Release
Long Lake Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Arson of Dakota County Government Building
United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the guilty plea and sentencing of GARRETT PATRICK ZIEGLER, 25, to 60 months in prison for aiding and abetting arson. ZIEGLER who also plead guilty today, was sentenced by Judge Susan Richard Nelson, in U.S. District Court, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
According to ZIEGLER’s guilty plea and documents filed with the court, in the early morning hours of May 29, 2020, ZIEGLER drove himself and co-defendant Fornandous Cortez Henderson to the Dakota County Western Service Center (the ''WSC") located at 14955 Galaxie Avenue in Apple Valley, Minnesota. The WSC houses state and local agencies and organizations, including Dakota County court facilities, as well as a U.S. Passport center. Once there, ZIEGLER and Henderson broke multiple windows using baseball bats. ZIEGLER and Henderson threw in multiple Molotov cocktails into the broken windows. Some of these devices successfully ignited and caused fire damage to the WSC. ZIEGLER and Henderson also started and attempted to start other fires at the WSC by pouring ignitable liquids, and throwing unlit Molotov cocktails, in and around the broken windows, then attempting to start the liquids on fire. Henderson selected the WSC as a target because he had previous court appearances at the WSC and was angry with law enforcement regarding the recent death of George Floyd. ZIEGLER who was also angry at law enforcement agreed to the target because of its connection to law enforcement.
ZIEGLER also admitted in his guilty plea that on May 26 through May 28, 2020, he purchased or provided a number of items that were used to construct the Molotov cocktails and carry out the attack on the WSC, including mason jars, pushpins and other similar sharp objects, isopropyl alcohol, nail polish remover, bottles of high-proof alcohol, lighter fluid, bandanas/scarves, and a baseball bat.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Apple Valley Police Department, and the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Dakota County Attorney’s Office.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alexander D. Chiquoine and Chelsea A. Walcker.
GARRETT PATRICK ZIEGLER, 25
Long Lake, Minn.
- Aiding and abetting arson, 1 count
- 60 months in prison
- 3 years supervised release
- $205,872.53 in restitution