Michigan man sentenced for hate crime connected to white supremacist plot

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A man from Michigan has been sentenced to 26 months in prison for conspiring with a white supremacist group to deface a Jewish synagogue and target Black and Jewish individuals. Nathan Weeden, 24, was responsible for vandalizing Temple Jacob in Hancock, Michigan with swastikas and symbols linked to The Base on September 21, 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

He was found guilty in January of charges including conspiracy to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate, as well as intentionally defacing, damaging, or destroying religious property based on race or ethnicity.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division expressed that “This sentence sends a strong message that threatening and intimidating people because of their religion, race, or ethnic characteristics will not be tolerated in this country.”

Weeden, along with fellow conspirators Richard Tobin of New Jersey and Yousef Barasneh of Wisconsin, utilized an encrypted messaging platform to plan the vandalism of properties associated with Black and Jewish Americans, including Temple Jacob.

The group carried out their plan named “Operation Kristallnacht” by spray-painting the exterior wall of the synagogue, referencing the violent events of November 1938 when Nazis attacked Jews and destroyed their homes, synagogues, businesses, and schools, as per the DOJ.

Clarke emphasized that “White supremacist-fueled violence is a stain on our history and perpetrators of such violence will be held accountable.”

Taylor Delandro
Taylor Delandro
Digital Reporter. Most recently, Delandro worked as a web producer for ABC7 Chicago. Prior to that, she was a morning show producer at WLBT-TV3 in Jackson, Mississippi. Delandro graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Delandro lives in Chicago with her fiancé.

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