DALLAS (Mar. 1)
Five members of a white supremacist group were convicted Thursday of firearms violations and conspiracy to violate the civil rights of blacks, Jews and His-panics.
The charges carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in federal prison. Sentencing is scheduled for April 19.
The charges stem from anti-Semitic and anti-minority incidents committed in 1988, in which several religious institutions were vandalized and several people were beaten up by Skinheads.
Those found guilty of 12 of 13 charges in federal court were Daniel Wood, 19; Sean Tarrant, 20; Jon Jordan, 19; Christopher Greer, 25; and Michael Lawrence, who were convicted before U.S. District Court Judge Barefoot Sanders.
The five are members of the Confederate Hammerskins, a Dallas-based white supremacist organization, whose members sport shaved heads and espouse Nazi ideology.
The convictions are based on several incidents. In August 1988, anti-Semitic slogans were painted on Temple Shalom in Dallas, and several Skinheads attempted to disrupt Shabbat services.
Temple Shalom was vandalized eight to 10 times in less than two years.
In October, the Dallas Jewish Community Center had several windows shot out, and phrases like “6 million more,” and “This time we’ll do it right” were painted on its walls in red spray-paint. An Islamic mosque was also defaced.
In one of the most chilling pieces of testimony, Gordan Buchanan, 18, a former member of the Confederate Hammerskins, told the court that Wood said he wanted to run lethal gas through the air conditioning ducts of a local synagogue.
Though no gas had been put in any of the air units, a spokesman at Temple Shalom of Dallas confirmed that the air conditioning had been tampered with on two separate occasions.
The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith in New York welcomed the news of the conviction, calling it “a major victory in the continuing battle against hate-inspired violence by Skinheads around the country.”