Man Charged for Alleged Anti-Semitic Bomb Threats to Houston Synagogues

Man Charged for Alleged Anti-Semitic Bomb Threats to Houston Synagogues

33-year-old Dante Phearse stands accused of making threatening phone calls to two Houston-based synagogues, a courthouse, and a marketing firm. On March 27, he was officially indicted with two civil rights violations and four counts of threatening to kill people and explode a building, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) press release

A criminal complaint obtained by Breitbart Texas states that on April 30, 2013, Phearse went to a Red Carpet Inn in Houston and made four phone calls. Phearse called two synagogues, Congregation Beth Israel and Congregation or Ami, and left voice mails threatening to blow up the buildings and kill people inside. More specifically, Phearse promised to bomb Beth Israel on May 2, 2013. He also left threatening voice mails for the City of Houston Municipal Courts building and Adams Resources Marketing, a company that has since gone out of business.

The complaint included various excerpts from Phearse’s voicemails left for Congregation Beth Israel and Congregation or Ami: “We know there is no such thing as a white Jew;” “We are not supporting you Jews anymore;” “We know the fact that you’ve been teaching that blacks are cursed;” “If you don’t stop and tell your students the truth we will be forced to bomb your facility I’m sorry about this but we will be forced to bomb your facility on May second;” “We’re tired of helping the Jews we been helping you Jews for years to help fight against Islam we all know that it is not the Islamic terrorist group that did 911 or bombs;” “We know that you are a racist organization.” 

Dena Marks, Associate Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Southwest regional office, said her organization served as a liaison between the synagogues and law enforcement. “The congregations reached out to us,” she told Breitbart Texas. “We then contacted specific people in law enforcement that we thought could be helpful in the case. ADL provides security to Jewish institutions.”

FBI Special Agent Alfred T. Tribble was able to trace the calls to the Red Carpet Inn, according to the complaint. The Red Carpet Inn informed Tribble that Phearse stayed in the room that night, and left the following morning without paying his bill. Hotel staff described the suspect as a black male in a wheel chair with one leg.

Phearse was ultimately taken into custody and according to court documents, he was ordered to detainment by U.S. Marshals and remains in custody. Angela Dodge of the U.S. Attorney’s office told Breitbart Texas that because this is a newly charged case, the FBI cannot comment further.

At this time, there are no indications that Phearse was a member of any hate group.

“I would not go as far as to say he was working with a group,” Dena Marks said, adding that she could not substantively make any conclusions. 

Phearse faces a maximum of 70 years in prison if he is found guilty of all of the charges currently filed against him.

Dante Criminal Complaint by BreitbartTexas

Dante Indictment by BreitbartTexas

Dante by BreitbartTexas

Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate