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Prosecutors: Arrests made in Indiana synagogue vandalism

August 16, 2018

Editor's note: This story has been updated.

Federal prosecutors say they’ve made arrests in connection to anti-Semitic graffiti that was spray-painted at a Carmel synagogue last month.

U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said during a news conference in Indianapolis that Nolan Brewer, 20, of Cloverdale, is charged with conspiracy to violate civil rights in the vandalism at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla. Brewer remains in U.S. marshals' custody after appearing in court Thursday for an initial hearing.

Minkler said tips from the public led authorities to Brewer and a store's surveillance footage showed Brewer and a co-conspirator buying spray paint used in the vandalism. The co-conspirator has also been arrested, but Minkler declined to comment, saying the investigation was ongoing.

Nazi flags and iron crosses were spray-painted on two walls of the synagogue just north of Indianapolis. The vandalism was found on July 28.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard condemned the vandalism. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb cited the incident when he asked the Legislature to pass a hate crimes bill.

Indiana remains one of only five states without a hate crimes law. Republican Senate leaders killed legislation this year that targeted crimes motivated by bias. Holcomb says he hopes a hate crime bill passes in 2019.

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