News and Press Releases

Defendant Testified Store Owner was Driving Force Behind the Crime

August 31, 2007

NAVEED KHAN, 25, of Everett, Washington, was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison, three years of supervised release and $200,015 in restitution for Arson and Conspiracy to Commit Arson. KHAN conspired with the owner of Continental Spices in Everett, Washington, to burn down the store. The men attempted to make the July 9, 2004, fire look like a hate crime by scrawling racist graffiti on the walls before KHAN lit the fire. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman told KHAN, “I cannot even begin to fathom the fear that you placed in (your community) when you let them believe that someone was after them and would burn down their property and endanger them in that way.”

According to court filings, store owner Mizra Akram approached KHAN about burning down the store which was failing financially. On the evening of July 8, 2004, the two men spray painted anti-Arab slogans on the walls to make it look like a hate crime, and spread gasoline in the building. In the early hours of the morning of July 9, 2004, KHAN returned to the store and lit the fire. KHAN entered a guilty plea in July of 2005, and agreed to testify against Akram.

Akram was found guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Arson in February 2007, following a one-day bench trial. Akram was sentenced to 51 months in prison.

KHAN was immediately taken into custody to begin serving his prison sentence.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) and the Everett Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Andrew Friedman and Jill Otake.

For additional information please call Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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