On Thursday, a man who was dubbed by the United States prosecutors as a white supremacist and a 'neo-Nazi' pleaded guilty to a hate crime, which was a plot to bomb a historic synagogue in Colorado last year.
Identified as 28-year-old Richard Holzer, the man accepted a plea deal from the prosecutors, which states that he admits that he attempted to prevent people from exercising their freedom of religion through a plot to bomb and destroy a building that was being used as a venue for interstate commerce.
According to Fox News, each of the crimes was supposed to carry a sentence of up to 20 years. However, since Holzer took the plea deal, the prosecutors promised that they would, as the judge, not give the man more than 20 years prison time when the sentence is put down on January 21, 2021.
On November 1, 2019, Holzer was nabbed by the FBI after receiving dynamite and phony pipe bombs from an undercover agent who posed as a white supremacist.
Based on the facts on the plea deal that both parties agreed on, the undercover agent reached out to Holzer online after finding his posts, which promoted white supremacy and violence.
Moreover, it was stated that Holzer received the explosives just hours before he was planning to use them to bomb the Pueblo's Temple Emanuel synagogue. It was also noted that Holzer was donning a Nazi armband and had a copy of the "Mein Kampf" inside his backpack.
Holzer thanked the agents after acquiring the explosives and stated that his planned attack was a move for the white race, Yahoo! News reported.
However, after his arrest, Holzer claimed that he did not plan for anyone to be hurt in his plot to bomb the synagogue. He said that he initially planned to do it at night. Yet he also acknowledged that he would still have gone through his plan in the plea deal even if the place was occupied since anyone in there would be Jewish.
The temple that he planned to bomb was Temple Emanuel, known as the second largest synagogue in Colorado. The building was built by descendants of immigrants from central and easter Europe back in the 1900s.
Meanwhile, Colorado US Attorney Jason Dunn dubbed the efforts on the case as the "most important work that we can do - protecting our communities by stopping an attack before it occurred."
In a statement by Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region director Scott Levin, he said that Holzer's guilty plea serves as a reminder that the US will not tolerate hate crimes, including those motivated by race and religion.
He stated that communities are fragmented, and these crimes damage the social fabric of society. Thus, he emphasized that anyone who seeks to harm others motivated by their religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or the color of their skin should be held accountable, The LA Times reported.
The league also noted that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Colorado had risen 56% from 2018 to 2019.