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Man sentenced to 19 years for plot to blow up Pueblo synagogue

DENVER (KRDO) -- The self-admitted Neo-Nazi who attempted to blow up a historic synagogue in Pueblo has been sentenced to 19 years in prison, according to the Department of Justice.

Richard Holzer, 28, was taken into custody in 2019 in El Paso County after investigators got evidence that he was a white supremacist who was plotting to blow up the Temple Emanuel, which is the second-oldest synagogue in Colorado.

Last October, Holzer pleaded guilty to "Attempt to obstruct persons in the enjoyment of their free exercise of religious beliefs through force and use of explosives and fire" and "Attempt to maliciously damage and destroy, by means of fire and explosives, a building used in interstate commerce." He had previously entered a not guilty plea.

According to court documents released by the Department of Justice in Denver last year, Holzer had multiple Facebook accounts that he used to push white supremacist ideology. On one of those accounts, he was contacted by an undercover FBI agent posing as a woman who supports white supremacy in late September of 2019.

The agent asked Holzer to keep her in the loop about any activist events coming up, and on Oct. 3, Holzer messaged her saying, "I'm getting ready for RAHOWA [racial holy war.]" When the undercover agent brought up the use of explosives against the synagogue, Holzer said, "I want something that tells them they are not welcome in this town. Better get the f*** out, otherwise, people will die," according to the court documents. He also expressed an interest in using pipe bombs since Molotov cocktails wouldn't be enough.

On Nov. 1, 2019, Holzer met with an undercover agent who provided him with "inert explosive devices that had been fabricated by the FBI, including two pipe bombs and 14 sticks of dynamite." Holzer said, "This is absolutely gorgeous" and then said they should carry out the attack at 2:30 or 3 a.m.

Holzer is a self-admitted Neo-Nazi and said the planned bombing was "a move for our race," according to the Department of Justice.

“Today’s sentence is another step forward in our on-going fight against extremism,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn, who is set to move on from the office this month. "We must remain ever vigilant in this battle and I am confident the Department will continue to lead this fight.”

Local News / News / Pueblo / Video / VOSOTs

Andrew McMillan

Andrew is the Digital Content Director for Learn more about Andrew here.


1 Comment

  1. Sounds like entrapment of a lone wolf mentally ill person who acted alone at the direction of the FBI.

    Once upon a time they put the mentally ill in mental hospitals, now they are entrapped and sent to prison or worse.

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