"The Justice Department today announced that David H. Howard, 59, of Tampa, Florida, pleaded guilty in the US District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, to one count of threatening, intimidating, and interfering with a Muslim family’s enjoyment of their housing rights, in violation of Title 42 U.S.C. § 3631," the release said on Tuesday. "Howard faces a maximum punishment of ten years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine up to $250,000."
The release said the couple was at the property for a final inspection before purchasing it when Howard showed up and said, "This sale will not take place!"
"Hate motivated crimes are not only an attack on the victim, but are meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community," FBI Tampa Division Special Agent in Charge Eric Sporre said. "Reporting these types of crimes along with cooperation of the community is critical to ensuring a successful outcome in cases like this."
The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department will vigorously pursue cases like these involving discrimination based on religious beliefs, the release added.