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November 14, 2022 4:53 pm
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Man Sentenced to 30 Months for Threatening to Blow Up St. Louis Synagogue

avatar by Andrew Bernard

An American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington, U.S., December 2, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

A St. Louis, Missouri, man was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison last week after pleading guilty to threatening to blow up St. Louis’s Central Reform Congregation synagogue in 2021.

Cody Steven Rush, 30, was convicted on November 8 in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri of using a telephone and instrument of interstate commerce to make a threat.

Last November Rush called the FBI multiple times to say that he intended to blow up the synagogue the next day, “while they were in service,” because he hated Jews, according to a criminal complaint. “I hate them with rage,” he said in one of the calls. Rush identified himself by name and gave the FBI his location on the same street as the synagogue, allowing the FBI and local police to find and arrest him. “I am feeling suicidal and homicidal. I just feel like killing Jews,” he told the arresting officers.

“Cody Steven Rush has already proven he is capable of violence with his criminal history. He attempted to burn down his own family’s home and a neighbor’s home on separate occasions,” said Special Agent in Charge Jay Greenberg of the FBI St. Louis Division. “Today’s sentencing is a clear warning that anyone who threatens the civil rights of others stands to lose his or her own freedom.”

US District Judge Henry E. Autrey, who delivered the sentence, also ordered that Rush undergo a mental health evaluation in prison and upon his release. Rush’s lawyer claims that Rush has mental health issues, including a brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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