Thomas Herris Sigler, III, 45, of Port Richey, Florida, plead guilty in federal court to one count of conspiring with others to threaten, intimidate, and interfere with an interracial couple’s enjoyment of their housing rights, according to officials.
“The defendant threatened and intimidated a couple in their home and neighborhood, denying them of the simple ability to feel safe where they lived, on account of race,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department will continue to vigorously prosecute those who engage in such violent acts.”
According to court documents, in September and October 2012, Sigler was living on Seward Drive in Port Richey in a predominantly white community.
After an interracial couple moved next door, Sigler harassed the African-American neighbor with racial slurs and derogatory statements, and on one occasion, physically assaulted him.
On Halloween night, Sigler attended a party at a neighbor’s house, where several Seward Drive residents decided to burn a cross in the front yard of the interracial couple in order to intimidate them and force them to move from the residence, according to authorities.
Using wood and tools from the host of the Halloween party, Sigler and his co-conspirators constructed a wooden cross and poured gasoline on the cross. Sigler’s co-conspirators then carried the cross to the victims’ front yard, leaned it against their mailbox, and set the cross on fire.
One of Sigler’s co-conspirators, Pascual Carlos Pietri, plead guilty to the same charge as Sigler in 2015, and was sentenced to 37 months imprisonment on March 23, 2016, according to officials.
A third co-conspirator, William A. Dennis, 56, of Pasco County, Florida, is also charged for his role in the conspiracy, according to officials.Warning: file_get_contents(): https:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_fopen=0 in /hermes/bosnacweb02/bosnacweb02af/b360/ipg.sbnotebookcom/wp-content/themes/goodnews5/framework/functions/posts_share.php on line 151 Warning: file_get_contents(https://plusone.google.com/_/+1/fastbutton?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cjnotebook.com%2F29802-2%2F): failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /hermes/bosnacweb02/bosnacweb02af/b360/ipg.sbnotebookcom/wp-content/themes/goodnews5/framework/functions/posts_share.php on line 151