Wednesday, 19 September 2018

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Man sentenced to 4 years in prison for threatening to blow up Pembroke Pines mosque

By AMANDA BATCHELOR, For Local 10 News, On 07 September 2018, Read Original

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A Cutler Bay man was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison and three years of supervised release for threatening to blow up a mosque in Pembroke Pines in May, federal prosecutors announced.

Dustin Allen Hughes, 26, must also pay $1,800 in restitution for obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs.

In June, Hughes pleaded guilty to one count of obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs through the threatened use of a dangerous weapon and explosive.

During the plea hearing, Hughes confessed to calling an emergency contact number for the Jamaat Ul Muttaqeen Mosque on May 5 and leaving "a hate-filled and profanity-laden voicemail message denigrating Islam and threatening to blow up the mosque," a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice stated.

According to the release, Hughes admitted to claiming he had a detonator and that he was "going to blow your (expletive) temple up," and that, "You guys are all going to be up in flames after I'm done with you."

Authorities were immediately called to the mosque after the voicemail was received, but they found no bombs inside.

"This prosecution sends a clear message that committing hate crimes has serious consequences," U.S. Attorney Benjamin Greenberg said in a statement. "Along with our law enforcement partners, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to prosecute those individuals who threaten members of our South Florida community because of their religious beliefs."