Jamil Hakime, a former employee of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, was sentenced to 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release on Feb. 6 for selling a gun and 19 rounds of ammunition to two men planning to attack a synagogue, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York stated.
Hakime, 59, sold the weapons to Christopher Brown and Matthew Mahrer on Nov. 18, 2022. He pleaded guilty on March 14, 2023.
“Jamil Hakime, a city employee who was supposed to be protecting youths, instead decided to arm two men—one of whom had just declared on Twitter his plan to ‘shoot up a synagogue’—with a powerful firearm and ammunition,” stated Damian Williams, U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York.
Williams credited the “swift action” of law enforcement with preventing “a monumental tragedy on New York’s Jewish community” that “could have devastated the lives of many people who were targeted solely for their religious beliefs and their desire to worship.”
“The sentence imposed today sends a clear message to those who would recklessly arm others with weapons that may be used to commit acts of mass violence that such conduct will not be tolerated,” the U.S. attorney added.
In 2022, an attorney for Mahrer—one of the two people who purchased the weapon—said, “My client is of Jewish heritage. He resides with his parents and his grandfather is actually a 93-year-old Holocaust survivor—and my client is his part-time caretaker.”
When Mahrer and his friend Brown were detained, Brown had a Nazi armband.
On Nov. 18, 2022, Brown posted on Twitter that he aimed “to shoot up a synagogue,” adding, “This time I’m really gonna do it,” according to the complaint.
Hakime taught the two young men, both in their early 20s, how to use the gun and “instructed the men to wipe off the firearm to remove Hakime’s fingerprints,” per the U.S. attorney’s office. “Brown and Mahrer paid Hakime approximately $650 for the firearm and ammunition.”