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Oregon White Supremacist Brothers Plead Guilty to Hate Crime

Two white supremacist brothers pleaded guilty in federal court in mid-August to throwing swastika-etched rocks at Temple Beth Israel in Eugene, Oregon, during a religious service in 2002.  Both defendants are self-avowed white supremacists who admitted they sought to commit acts of violence against Jews, African-Americans, and members of other ethnic and racial groups.

Jacob Laskey, 25, and Gabriel Laskey, 21, face a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for conspiring to deprive people of their civil rights, and another 20 years for damaging religious property while using a dangerous weapon in the October 2002 attack which shattered the windows of the temple while 80 congregants were inside.

The Laskeys are connected to the Oregon-based neo-Nazi group Volksfront, one of the most active white supremacist groups on the West Coast.  Jacob Laskey, who served as the prisoner affairs coordinator for the group, was part of the contingent representing Volksfront at the 2003 Aryan Nations World Congress in Idaho, and helped organize Volksfront's Aryan Fest in Arizona in 2004. Gabriel Laskey attended Volksfront's 10-year anniversary party in October 2004 near Portland.

According to court documents, the brothers planned the attack with friends Gerald Poundstone, Jesse Baker, and Jeremy Baker.  All five men threw stones.

Additionally, Jacob Laskey pleaded guilty to soliciting Jesse Baker to murder a potential witness and to call in a bomb threat against the federal courthouse in Eugene to disrupt the grand jury proceedings.  He also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.

Jacob Laskey will be sentenced on October 24, 2006, and his brother Gabriel will be sentenced on November 7, 2006.  Poundstone and Jesse Baker both pleaded guilty and are awaiting their sentences.  Jeremy Baker was not charged.

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UPDATE

December 4, 2007

In November 2007, A U.S. District Judge in Oregon granted a former white supremacist probation instead of jail time for his role in a 2002 attack on a synagogue.

Gabriel Laskey, 23, of Springfield, admitted that he had thrown rocks etched with swastikas through the stained glass windows of a synagogue in Eugene, Oregon, while congregants were inside.

Laskey received five years probation and six months in a work release program, to be followed by another six months of home detention instead of jail time after renouncing his white supremacist beliefs, writing letters of apology to the temple, and meeting with a rabbi.  He has also expressed a desire to remove his racist tattoos.

Gabriel's brother Jacob Laskey, 26, was sentenced in April 2007 to 11 years and three months in prison for part in the synagogue attack, and for then attempting to intimidate witnesses to avoid prosecution.   

Both brothers were linked to the Oregon-based neo-Nazi group Volksfront.

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