A New Jersey man was sentenced today for his role in conspiring to vandalize minority-owned properties across the country in September 2019..
Richard Tobin, 20, from Brooklawn (New Jersey), previously pleaded guilty to an information accusing him of conspiracy against rights. The sentence was imposed today by Judge Kugler in Camden federal court.
The defendant conspired to vandalize, destroy and instil fear in Jewish and Black Americans,” stated Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. This sentence clearly states that the Department of Justice will not tolerate anyone using or owning property based on race or religion. Acting U.S. attorney Rachael A.Honig of the District of New Jersey stated that the Department of Justice will continue to pursue civil rights conspiracies, and defend the rights of victims of biased motivated crimes Richard Tobin encouraged hateful acts of violent violence against individuals and houses of worship, based upon their religion or skin color. “Justice demanded that he was held accountable for his racist and anti-Semitic acts, and we are proud of having joined our colleagues in Civil Rights Division and Joint Terrorism Task Force to do so in this instance. Our firm commitment to protecting civil rights in New Jersey is steadfast .”
Richard Tobin’s white supremacist beliefs and actions are unacceptable, but they are not the reason he’s being sent to prison,” stated Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. He actively conspired to partner with others to commit violence against innocent people based on their religion or who they are. This is what crossed the line and made it FBI’s business. We will continue to pursue those who incite violent, hateful acts to intimidate or isolate members of our community .”
According to court documents and statements made in this case, Tobin acknowledged that he was part of “The Base,” a white supremacist group. He communicated with other members online and instructed them to vandalize and destroy properties associated with African Americans and Jewish Americans. Tobin called this coordinated attack “Kristallnacht” or “Night of Broken Glass” after an attack on Germany on Nov. 9th and 1938,, in which Nazis killed Jewish people, and torched and destroyed Jewish homes and synagogues. Tobin urged members of The Base not to put up propaganda flyers, to smash windows and to slash tires that belonged to African Americans or Jewish Americans. The Base members vandalized two synagogues in Racine (Wisconsin) and Hancock (Michigan) by spray painting hate symbols on them.
A conspirator, Yousef Olmar Barasneh pleaded guilty in federal court in Eastern District of Wisconsin to conspiracy against rights for his part in vandalizing the synagogue at Racine, Wisconsin.
Tobin was sentenced by Judge Kugler to three years of supervised freedom.
Acting U.S. attorney Honig gave credit to special agents of FBI Philadelphia Division’s South Jersey Resident Agency under Special Agent in Charge Maguire and the Joint Terrorism Task Force and their member agencies, including Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations and the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. The investigation that led to today’s sentencing was also credited to the New Jersey State Police and Camden County Police Department. Brooklawn Police Department and Cherry Hill Police Department were also acknowledged for their assistance.
The government is represented in this case by Kristen M. Harberg, Assistant U.S. attorney for the District of New Jersey, and Eric Peffley, Trial Attorney for the Civil Rights Division Criminal Section.
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