Significant damage was done to Martin Luther King Jr. Presbyterian Church, Springfield, Massachusetts. According to court documents, Dushko Volchev was driven by racial animus.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. According to court documents, a Maine man was charged with setting fire at a Massachusetts church that had a majority Black congregation.

Dushko, 45, from Houlton in Maine was indicted on Thursday for four counts of causing damage to religious property “because the race, colour, and ethnic characteristics of those associated with that church” and one count using fire to commit federal felonies.

A request for comment was sent to his federal public lawyer.

Authorities claim that he started a fire at the Martin Luther King Jr. Presbyterian Church in Springfield in the early hours of the morning, Dec. 28, 2020. This caused severe damage. According to authorities, he had set smaller fires at the church in the past.

According to court documents, investigators found “many examples of communications that showed racial animus toward Black people” according to court documents.

It’s approximately 360 miles from Houlton and Springfield.

Vulchev, a naturalized citizen of Bulgaria, was indicted in Maine in 2016 for kidnapping as well as domestic assault. He was sentenced to 258 day in prison for assault and other charges. In federal court, he pleaded guilty to the threat of a Bulgarian official