19-year sentence for convicted domestic terrorist who plotted to blow up synagogue in Pueblo

Local News

DENVER (KDVR) — Richard Holzer was sentenced in federal court to 19 years in prison for plotting to blow up a temple in Pueblo.

The 28-year-old pleaded guilty to federal hate crime and explosives charges earlier in the plot to blow up Temple Emanuel Synagogue and was officially sentenced on Friday.

“Today’s sentence is another step forward in our on-going fight against extremism,” U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn said. “About two-and-a-half years ago, my first day as U.S. Attorney took me to a vigil for victims from the Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue attack. Today, my last day in the office, we have sentenced the extremist responsible for the attempted bombing of the Temple Emanuel Synagogue in Pueblo. We must remain ever vigilant in this battle and I am confident the Department will continue to lead this fight.” 

Holzer told undercover FBI agents that he wanted the bombing to send a message to Jewish people that they must leave his town, “otherwise people will die.”

He also told undercover agents that he wanted to “get that place off the map.” Holzer admitted to coordinating with the undercover agents to obtain explosives, including pipe bombs.

Undercover agents met with Holzer on the night of Nov. 1, 2019 to provide him with fabricated explosives from the FBI. Holzer admitted that he planned to detonate the explosives several hours later, in the early hours of Saturday morning, Nov. 2, 2019. 

Holzer explained after his arrest that “[t]he event planned for tonight would define me as a person who would die for his people.”

Holzer claimed to be a Neo-Nazi and white supremacist. He declared the bombing was “a move for our race.”

Holzer used social media to glorify violence and advocate for white supremacy. He sent pictures of himself to an undercover FBI agent holding automatic weapons and said he was “getting ready for RAHOWA,” shorthand for a racial holy war.

Holzer will be on supervised probation for 15 years after his release from prison.

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