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Authorities: Fires targeted people of Middle Eastern descent

March 5, 2019

DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (AP) — Authorities have accused a Detroit-area man of setting fires that targeted people of Middle Eastern descent.

Thirty-five-year-old Nicholas Diedo of Dearborn Heights has been charged with maliciously destroying a building used in interstate commerce by means of fire. Federal investigators allege two of the fires were at a strip mall in Inkster and others involved several vehicles, including one belonging to his neighbor.

Investigators on Monday searched his home, where they say they found bottles filled with accelerants, gas cans and burned sticks and pieces of wood. They add that they found clothing seen in surveillance video from the strip mall fire.

Diedo has been arrested but no attorney is listed for him in court records.

If convicted, Diedo could serve up to 20 years in federal prison.