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Hobart motel owner pleads to federal charge of soliciting arson

A Hobart motel owner pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to soliciting arson.

Kirankuman Gandhi, 49, entered his plea after being indicted by a federal grand jury on July 2. He pleaded guilty to attempting to destroy by fire a building at 1004 West 11th Street in Hobart, where he owned the Hiway Inn. According to the indictment, the property was being rented and thus affected interstate commerce.

“Today, Gandhi pleaded guilty to a superseding information that charges the related crime of solicitation to commit a crime of violence, in particular arson,” according to a statement by U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing. “During a hearing before U.S. District Judge David L. Russell, he admitted that between June 14, 2018, and June 12, 2019, he paid an undercover federal agent to burn down property affecting interstate commerce.”

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