Swastika graffiti (illustration)
Swastika graffiti (illustration)iStock

A federal jury has convicted a man on two counts for defacing one of Michigan’s oldest synagogues with a swastika and other graffiti in 2019, prosecutors said Thursday, according to The Associated Press.

Nathan Weeden, 23, of Houghton was found guilty of conspiring against rights and damaging religious property, prosecutors said. Weeden was indicted last July.

Swastikas and symbols associated with The Base, a white supremacist group, were sprayed on the outside of Temple Jacob in Hancock in the Upper Peninsula, prosecutors said.

Weeden and co-conspirators dubbed their plan “Operation Kristallnacht,” a reference to the incidents of November 9-10, 1938, when Nazis killed Jews and burned their homes, synagogues, schools and places of business.

“This defendant shamelessly desecrated Temple Jacob when he emblazoned swastikas — a symbol of extermination — on their Temple walls,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the US Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a news release quoted by AP.

“Such conduct is unacceptable and criminal under any circumstances but doing so in furtherance of a self-described ‘Operation Kristallnacht’ conspiracy is beyond disgraceful.”

Two co-conspirators of Weeden were previously convicted in the case.