Illinois man pleads guilty to charges

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URBANA, Ill. – An 18-year-old Illinois man facing conspiracy and weapons allegations has pleaded guilty to the charges.

Ellis Mack of Clarence entered his plea Tuesday to charges of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats and violence and unlawful possession of a machine gun.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Eric Long in Urbana set sentencing for Jan. 9.

As part of his plea deal, Mack agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in their cases against three other men.

Prosecutors allege that Mack and the other men – Michael Hari, Michael McWhorter and Joe Morris – conspired to rob or attempt to rob Walmart stores, and attempted to extort Canadian National Railway by threatening to damage tracks if the railroad didn’t pay ransom.

Hari, McWhorter and Morris also are charged in Minnesota with the August 2017 bombing of the Dar al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington. No one was injured.

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