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Man pleads guilty to hate crime charge for restaurant torching

FARGO -- A Grand Forks man pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime Thursday for setting fire last December to a Somali restaurant in Grand Forks. After entering a plea agreement, Matthew William Gust, 25, admitted he set fire on Dec. 8 to Juba Cof...

FARGO - A Grand Forks man pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime Thursday for setting fire last December to a Somali restaurant in Grand Forks.

After entering a plea agreement, Matthew William Gust, 25, admitted he set fire on Dec. 8 to Juba Coffee House and Restaurant on South Washington Street with a Molotov cocktail, causing at least $90,000 in damage.

Gust pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon to two charges: malicious use of explosive materials and interference with a federally protected activity.

He is scheduled to be sentenced 1:30 p.m. Aug. 29 in Fargo.

Gust faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on the interference charge and 10 years on the malicious use charge.

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