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Suspect in Colorado synagogue bombing plot pleads guilty

Posted at 9:58 AM, Oct 16, 2020

PUEBLO, Colo. — 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 charges on Thursday that he attempted to obstruct others from exercising religious beliefs through force and that he attempted to destroy 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, Colorado as part of what he called a "racial holy war" and to wipe the synagogue "off the map" in what the FBI said amounted to "domestic terrorism."

An undercover agent began talking to Holzer 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.

Holzer's sentencing is set for Jan. 20. 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.

This story was originally published by Brenda Argueta on KOAA in Colorado Springs, Colorado.