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2 Pasco Men Sentenced For Burning Cross In Couple's Yard

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Two Pasco County men have been sentenced to federal prison for setting a wooden cross on fire in an interracial couple's yard.

A U.S. Department of Justice news release says 46-year-old Thomas Sigler was sentenced Tuesday to two years and nine months, and 56-year-old William Dennis received one year and nine months. They had both previously pleaded guilty to civil rights violations.

Officials say Sigler, Dennis and Pascual Pietri were living in Port Richey when a white woman and a black man moved into the neighborhood. On Halloween 2012, the men decided to burn a cross in the couple's yard. Cross-burning has historically been used by hate groups to intimidate black people.

Pietri was sentenced in 2016 to three years and one month behind bars.

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