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Suspect in Pueblo synagogue bombing plot pleads guilty

Posted at 12:13 PM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-16 12:43:03-04

PUEBLO — A white supremacist accused of plotting to bomb the Temple Emanuel synagogue in Pueblo last year pleaded guilty to federal hate crime and explosives charges Thursday morning, according to court documents.

Richard Holzer pleaded guilty to two charges: 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.

Holzer was arrested Nov. 1, 2019, after he met up with three undercover FBI agents in an attempt to bomb Temple Emanuel in Pueblo as part of what he called a “racial holy war” and to wipe the synagogue “off the map” in what the FBI says amounts to “domestic terrorism.”

An undercover agent began talking to him on Facebook in September 2019 after investigators say he promoted white supremacy and violence on several accounts. Holzer pleaded not guilty in November 2019 to a three-count indictment submitted by a grand jury.

His sentencing is set for Jan. 20, 2021, where he 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.

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