HOUSTON – A 33-year-old man was sentenced Monday to serve 33 months in prison for calling in a bomb threat to Congregation Beth Israel, a synagogue in Houston, federal prosecutors said.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Dante Phearse was further ordered to pay $13,000 in restitution and will serve three years of supervised release following completion of his prison term.
Phearse pleaded guilty to the civil rights violation of threatening to bomb a synagogue and to making a telephone bomb threat on April 28, officials said.
Federal prosecutors said Phearse admitted that on April 30, 2013, he, “willfully obstructed members of Congregation Beth Israel from enjoying the free exercise of their religious beliefs by threat of force with an explosive device.”
Phearse also admitted to “using an instrument of interstate commerce to communicate a threat to kill and injure people and to destroy a building by means of an explosive device,” federal prosecutors said.
The FBI investigated the case with the assistance of the Houston Police Department.