ADL Welcomes Hate Crime Plea in Plot To Blow Up Pueblo Synagogue

Denver, CO, October 15, 2020 …The Anti-Defamation League Mountain States Region welcomed today’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice that Richard Holzer pleaded guilty to federal hate crime and explosive charges for plotting to blow up Temple Emanuel Synagogue in Pueblo.  

ADL Mountain States Regional Director Scott Levin issued the following statement: 

The news of a plot to blow up the historic Temple Emanuel Synagogue in Pueblo last year shook that city’s Jewish community to its core and alarmed all of Colorado’s Jewish community. Almost a year later, we welcome the hate crime charges in this case and commend local, state and federal law enforcement agencies for thwarting the plot and aggressively prosecuting the case. We especially thank the Pueblo Police Department, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado. We also recognize the leaders and members of Temple Emanuel Synagogue for their strength and resilience.  

Hate crimes damage the social fabric of our society and fragment communities. It is critical that those who seek to harm others because of their religion, race, national origin, sexual orientation or any other defining characteristic, be held accountable for their crimes. Today’s announcement is a striking reminder that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Colorado.  

Last year’s plot to blow up Temple Emanuel was just one of 61 cases of antisemitic harassment and vandalism that the ADL Mountain States Region tracked in 2019. The number of antisemitic incidents reported in Colorado increased by 56 percent from 2018 to 2019 and surpassed a peak that had previously been reached in 2017 when there were 57 incidents reported in the state. Reports of antisemitic incidents from the past four years are the highest in the past decade in Colorado. 

ADL is a leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of antisemitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor andpassion. ADL is the first call when acts of antisemitism occur. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education and fighting hate online, ADL’s ultimate goalis a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.ADL’s Mountain States Region covers Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. More at

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