Duo Arrested For Fire-Bombing Minnesota Courthouse

Garrett Ziegler and Fornandous Henderson.

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced a federal criminal complaint against Garrett Patrick Ziegler, 24, and Fornandous Cortez Henderson, 32, charging them with arson and possession of Molotov cocktails. Both were ordered to remain in custody pending a formal detention hearing, which is scheduled for Thursday, June 4, 2020.

According to the allegations in the complaint, in the early morning hours of May 29, 2020, the Apple Valley Police Department (“AVPD”) was dispatched to a fire alarm at the Dakota County Western Service Center (“DCWSC”) in Apple Valley, Minnesota. The DCWSC houses state and local agencies and organizations, including Dakota County court facilities, as well as a U.S. Passport center. Once on scene, officers observed broken windows, smoke, and flames coming from the west side of the building where the judges’ chambers and clerks’ offices are located.

Located at the scene were items consistent with those used in Molotov cocktails, including broken glass jars and liquor bottles, pushpins, intact glass jars containing ignitable liquid and a charred red bandana.

According to the allegations in the complaint, officers found a set of car keys in the grass near the DCWSC belonging to a Ford Fiesta parked in a neighboring business’ parking lot. Officers later executed a search warrant on the vehicle, which was registered to Ziegler, and recovered several items, including liquor bottles, a store receipt dated May 28, 2020, for three bandanas, partially full and empty boxes of push pins, an empty cardboard box for twelve Ball brand mason jars, an empty Kingsford brand lighter fluid bottle, isopropyl alcohol bottles, a plastic jar containing a clear unidentified liquid and T-pins, and a store receipt dated May 27, 2020 for nail polish remover. Officers located both men on a road near the DCWSC, and they were taken into custody.

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.

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