Colorado White Supremacist Pleads Guilty to Synagogue Bombing Plot
A Colorado white supremacist arrested last November for plotting to blow up a synagogue pled guilty to the charges against him in a federal court on Thursday.
Richard Holzer, a supporter of the violent white supremacist Ku Klux Klan, planned to detonate an explosive at Temple Emmanuel in Pueblo, Colorado. Holzer, who is from Pueblo, was discovered by the FBI, which arrested him after he received inert pipe bombs and dynamite from agents posing as neo-Nazis.
Unsealed federal court documents revealed that the FBI became aware of Holzer’s intentions through the racist, antisemitic and threatening statements he posted on social media prior to launching his plot.
One one occasion, Holzer told undercover FBI agents that he wanted to do something that would tell Jewish people in the community that they were not welcome in Pueblo, and they should leave or face death. Holzer also sent an undercover FBI agent pictures of himself holding automatic weapons and said he was “getting ready for RAHOWA,” shorthand for “racial holy war.”
“The defendant attempted to bomb the Temple Emanuel Synagogue to drive people of Jewish faith out of his community,” said Colorado Assistant Attorney General Eric Dreiband. “Violence motivated by religious intolerance strikes at the heart of a free society, and the Justice Department will continue to investigate and prosecute these violent acts of hate.”
Sentencing is set for January 20, 2021, before US District Judge Raymond P. Moore.
The 28-year-old Holzer faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the hate crime charge and 20 years for the explosives charge, a fine of up to $250,000 and a term of supervised release.