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Diego Vargas Pleads Guilty To Setting Off Explosive Device At Naperville Restaurant During Widespread Looting Last Summer

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A 26-year-old man has pleaded guilty to federal charges accusing him of throwing an explosive device through the window of a Naperville restaurant during widespread looting last June.

Diego Vargas pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of maliciously attempting to damage and destroy a building by means of an explosive device. The charge carries a sentence of 5 to 20 years in prison.

Federal prosecutors said Vargas threw a "lit explosive device" through the window of the Egg Harbor Cafe in Naperville on June 1, 2020, resulting in two explosions. His attack on the restaurant came after hundreds of people had begun vandalizing businesses and attacking police officers, following a peaceful protest earlier that night, according to prosecutors.

Naperville was one of several local communities that saw widespread vandalism and looting in late May and early June last year, in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Prosecutors said video evidence from the scene shows Vargas throwing a flaming object through a window at Egg Harbor Cafe and running away. The dark windows of the restaurant can be seen lighting up as a blast is heard just seconds later.

Vargas was arrested in October, and remains in custody at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown Chicago.

His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 2.


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