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FBI Investigating Alleged Hate Crime in Johnson County

Last updated on Wednesday, January 29, 2014

(JOHNSON CO.) - The FBI is investigating whether two teens allegedly involved in a cross burning incident in a Johnson County neighborhood should be charged with a federal hate crime.

"The Daily Journal" reports that the feds are looking into the case where the boys, ages 16 and 17, allegedly burned a cross in the yard of a black resident of Fairview Heights on Jan. 2.

During the investigation, authorities noticed fresh foot tracks in the snow. Police followed the tracks to the home of the 16-year-old. The 17-year-old allegedly admitted to setting the cross on fire.

Investigators say they administered a breathalyzer test on the teen. He reportedly blew a .089. Both boys were eventually released to their parents' custody.

According to the newspaper, the Indianapolis FBI office received information about the incident and is investigating. The FBI has 45 days to prepare a report and submit it to the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, where federal prosecutors will decide whether to file charges.

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