Camden County Man Admits to Conspiring With White Supremacists to Vandalize Synagogues
A Camden County man has admitted his role in conspiring with members of a white supremacist group to threaten and intimidate African Americans and Jewish Americans by vandalizing minority-owned properties throughout the country in September, 2019.
U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig says 19-year-old Richard Tobin of Brooklawn pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy against rights.
Tobin admitted that from Sept. 15 to Sept. 23, 2019, he was a member of a white supremacist group, “The Base,” and during that time, he communicated online with other members and directed them to destroy and vandalize properties affiliated with African Americans and Jewish Americans. Tobin dubbed this coordinated attack “Kristallnacht,” or “Night of Broken Glass,” after an attack in Germany on Nov. 9 and 10, 1938, in which Nazis murdered Jewish people and burned and destroyed Jewish homes, synagogues, stores and schools. Tobin implored members of The Base to post propaganda flyers and to break windows and slash tires belonging to African Americans and Jewish Americans. On Sept. 21, 2019, members of The Base vandalized synagogues in Racine, Wisconsin, and Hancock, Michigan, by spray painting them with hate symbols.
A conspirator, Yousef Omar Barasneh, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy against rights in federal court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, for his role in vandalizing the synagogue in Racine, Wisconsin.
In a statement, Honig said, "Americans should never have to fear racist, antisemitic or any other form of bias-motivated violence. This defendant encouraged hateful acts of violence against individuals and their houses of worship, based solely on their religion or the color of their skin. Together with our colleagues in the Civil Rights Division and the Joint Terrorism Task Force, this Office will continue to work every day to identify individuals like him and bring them swiftly to justice."
The conspiracy charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater.
Sentencing is scheduled for June 28th.