White Supremacist Sentenced For Federal Hate Crimes For Conspiracy Targeting Black, Jewish People

Nathan Weeden

In a legal development on June 4, 2024, a Michigan man received a 26-month prison sentence followed by three years of supervised release for his involvement in a hate crime conspiracy targeting Black and Jewish individuals.

Nathan Weeden, 24, from Houghton, was found guilty in January of conspiring with members of a white supremacist group known as The Base to deface Temple Jacob, a Jewish synagogue in Hancock, Michigan, using swastikas and symbols associated with the group.

Weeden’s conviction came after a trial where evidence showcased discussions among him and his co-conspirators, Richard Tobin from New Jersey and Yousef Barasneh from Wisconsin, on an encrypted messaging platform about vandalizing properties linked to Black and Jewish communities.

Termed “Operation Kristallnacht,” reminiscent of the historic Nazi-led pogrom against Jews, the plan was executed by Weeden on September 21, 2019.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said such actions will not be tolerated, stating that the Justice Department remains committed to prosecuting hate-fueled violence.

U.S. Attorney Mark Totten reiterated that hate crimes have no place in society, affirming that legal measures will be employed to safeguard individuals against discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or religion.

The FBI, with support from the ATF and Hancock Police Department, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils Kessler and Trial Attorney Eric Peffley led the prosecution.