PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. - A 26-year-old man pleaded guilty to a hate crime Thursday for threatening to bomb a mosque in Pembroke Pines.
Dustin Allen Hughes, of Cutler Bay, 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.
"The Justice Department will not tolerate threats of hate violence, which threaten an entire community's sense of safety and security," said Acting Assistant Attorney General John Gore. "The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute hate crimes so that all people, no matter how they worship, can live their lives freely and without fear."
Hughes is expected to be sentenced on Sept. 6. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
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