A 28-year old white supremacist, Richard Holzer, appeared for his sentencing on Friday, in a federal courtroom in Denver, in a failed attempt to blow up a synagogue, He was given a 19-1/2 year prison term after he pleaded guilty, some time ago.
He has been sentenced for a federal hate-crimes case. In 2019, he plotted to blow up a historic synagogue in Colorado. This synagogue called the Temple Emmanuel in Pueblo is the second oldest synagogue in Colorado.
Although he did not succeed in his nefarious plan, U.S. District Judge Raymond Moore said that the white supremacist wanted to “terrorize the Jewish community” who lived in Pueblo. About 100 miles south of Denver, Pueblo is a small city with a population of 112,000 residents.
Judge Moore imposed the sentence that was sought by the prosecutors. He called it one of the “most vulgar…evil crimes” that could have been committed against an entire group of people.
The defendant did not speak at all at the hearing. In October, his plea agreement showed that he had pled guilty to two counts: one count of trying to obstruct religious by force and other of trying to destroy a building that is used in interstate commerce.
The judge did not accept the arguments put forth by his defense lawyers. They said that he had renounced his racist policies. However, he had reached out to other white supremacists and had continued to support Nazi imagery.
The judge said, “The notion that he’s turned some corner is fantasy.”
Holzer was arrested in November 2019 as part of an undercover operation by federal agents. An FBI arrest warrant said this Pueblo resident had been under the eye of the federals for his openly declared hatred of Jews in his social media postings.
The affidavit also said that undercover agents pretended to be racists and contacted Holzer. They met him and he mentioned an idea that he had; to blow up a synagogue.
Court documents showed that the agents finally provided Holzer with inert pipe bombs and a few sticks of dynamite before they arrested him. Pipe bombs are often used by extremists and were also placed near the Democratic and Republican Offices the night before the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021.