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Texas man who sold gun to synagogue hostage-taker gets nearly 8 years

Henry “Michael” Dwight Williams, 33, sold the weapon used to hold the synagogue’s rabbi and three other people hostage, prosecutors said.
A Police car sits in front of the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, some 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Dallas, on January 16, 2022. - All four people taken hostage in a more than 10-hour standoff at the Texas synagogue have been freed unharmed, police said late January 15, and their suspected captor is dead.
Police respond to a hostage situation at the Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, on Jan. 16.Andy Jacobsohn / AFP - Getty Images

DALLAS — A man who sold a pistol to a man who used it to hold four hostages inside a Texas synagogue before being fatally shot by the FBI was sentenced Monday to nearly eight years in prison for a federal gun crime, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Henry “Michael” Dwight Williams, 33, pleaded guilty in June to being a felon in possession of a firearm, prosecutors said. Williams sold Malik Faisal Akram the weapon he used when he entered Congregation Beth Israel in the Dallas-area suburb of Colleyville on Jan. 15 and held the synagogue’s rabbi and three others hostage, according to prosecutors.

Williams, who was previously convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and attempted possession of a controlled substance, sold Akram a semi-automatic pistol on Jan. 13. Prosecutors said that in plea papers, Williams admitted to possession of that firearm despite his prior conviction.

“This defendant, a convicted felon, had no business carrying — much less buying and selling — firearms,” U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham said in a news release.

Prosecutors said Williams confirmed selling Akram the handgun at a Dallas intersection.

Akram, a 44-year-old British citizen, held hostages while demanding the release of a federal prisoner. The standoff ended after more than 10 hours when the temple’s rabbi threw a chair at Akram and fled with the other two remaining hostages just as an FBI tactical team was moving in. None of the hostages were injured.

Williams was arrested just over a week after the standoff.