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Man Pleads Guilty to Setting Fire in 2007 to Home of Neighboring African-American Family

CHICAGO—A Joliet man is facing an agreed maximum 10-year prison sentence after pleading guilty today to a federal civil rights crime for setting fire to the home of an African-American family on his street in 2007. The defendant, Brian James Moudry, admitted that at approximately 4 a.m. on June 17, 2007, he carried a can containing gasoline to the home, splashed the gasoline on the residence, and ignited it. No one was injured, although the home was occupied by eight children and an adult at the time of the fire.

Moudry, 36, formerly of the 300 block of South Reed Street, Joliet, pleaded guilty to using fire to interfere with the housing rights on the basis of race under the terms of an agreement that, if accepted, provide he will be sentenced to the maximum of 10 years on that count. U.S. District Judge Robert Gettleman scheduled sentencing for 10 a.m. on April 26.

Moudry has remained in federal custody without bond since he was arrested on May 30, 2012.

“One of our most important responsibilities is to protect members of all racial and ethnic groups from intimidation and violence,” said Gary S. Shapiro, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, who announced the guilty plea with Cory B. Nelson, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the plea agreement, Moudry was upset that an African-American family rented a house at 318 South Reed St., on the same block as his house. He admitted that he set the fire because African-Americans were occupying the home and that he intended to interfere with their continued ability to rent the residence and to intimidate the owner from continuing to rent to African-Americans.

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