The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Klan Boss Ron Edwards Sentenced to Four Years on Drug Charges

By Leah Nelson on May 26, 2011 - 10:30 am, Posted in Extremist Crime, Klan

Ron EdwardsA federal judge this morning sentenced Ronald Wayne Edwards (seen at right during a deposition in 2007), former imperial wizard of the Kentucky-based Imperial Klans of America (IKA), to 48 months in prison, The Associated Press reported.

Edwards, who was charged with federal gun and drug violations, pleaded guilty in March. Along with his longtime girlfriend, Christina Gillette, who pleaded guilty on drug charges, he was accused trafficking methamphetamines and painkillers. Gillette will serve 12 months and one day in prison, the AP said.

Edwards got his start with the Klan in the early 1990s as head of the Kentucky klavern (or local unit) of the Arkansas-based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. That group, originally started by David Duke but since led by Thom Robb, tried to portray itself as a kinder, gentler Klan, seeking to adopt highways and follow other strategies meant to improve its image. But the group split in July 1994, when nine chapters departed to form the Federation of Klans over an accusation that Robb had absconded with funds raised through a telephone hotline and also a $20,000 gift that was allegedly meant for the group.

Edwards was briefly with the federation, led by former Robb follower Ed Novak, but the group collapsed around 1995. In 1996, Edwards started the IKA.

The Southern Poverty Law Center sued Edwards in 2008, contending that members of his Klan group attacked a 16-year-old U.S. citizen of Panamanian Indian descent on his father’s side because they thought he was an “illegal spic.” Also named as a defendant was Jarred Hensley of Cincinnati, who served nearly three years in state prison for assaulting the teenager at a county fair in northwest Kentucky. A jury found Edwards liable for 20% of the $2.5 million they awarded the teen.

The case is currently on appeal.

  • mandy phillips

    Thank you Greg!!! I agree with everything you said:) My dad never forced his religion on any of his kids. I am not racist by no means!!!! What i do believe in is our constitutional rights; and they are slowly being taken away from all of us Americans. My dad RON EDWARDS should have his right to his religion, faith and speech as well as the same as other groups like the NAACP. Martin Luther King JR had by far the best speech that this world will ever hear!!!! GOD Bless:)

  • greg horn

    I feel for you mandy, I admire your dad. He is fighting for what he believes even tho he may be swinging at some folks who do not pose a threat. He has been thru some real shit and it’s understandable. I wish you all the best. ghorn1@hotmail.com

  • greg horn

    i have no grief towards jews, i was never jumped or bullied by them and don’t believe they control or run the gov and government. It’s greedy whites. I have been a victim of other race groups because i am white and I am still angry and fight quick because of it, I will stand and fight for my “family” and myself always and forever. Anyone that does the same has my respect and I have no faith that our government is looking out for me or mine and that has nothing to do with race. I know it’s a money thing. And ya, I am a soldier 100% and 100% white.

  • mandy phillips

    Ron Edwards is my dad. He isnt the man everyone thinks he is. The lawsuit he recieved, is very unfair. He wasnt there when it happened and he didnt make it happen. The two men did it on their own stupitidy! And i agree with chris :) thank you for what you said. My dad had a rough life and everyone deals with things differntly. He is more loving then any of you know!

  • B DABNEY

    RON EDWARDS IS AN EDUCATED MAN WITH THE RIGHT TO BELIEVE ANY WAY HE PLEASES TO.IF YOU FOLLOWED THE ENTIRE TRIAL AND YOUR HALFWAY INTELLIGENT YHEN YOU WOULD KNOW THAT HES NO DUMBASS.HE HAS DONE HIS HOMEWORK AND MANY YEARS OF PRACTICE.YOU MAY NOT LIKE WHAT HE STANDS FOR BUT AT LEAST BE HONEST ENOUGH TO CALL IT LIKE IT IS

  • Jude

    Gravy,

    I’ve heard him speak, too. Educated, he is not. Delusional, maybe. Definitely NOT educated, well-spoken or civilized. You must have met a different guy. Or maybe you’re just his Grand Dragon or Exalted Cyclops. Yes, those are both “positions” held in the IKA, as well. It’s like a bad game of Dungeons and Dragons. His preachings are drivel. I’m worried for anyone weak-minded enough to be swayed by them.

  • Ron

    How is he going to pay his $2.5 million debt if he goes to jail

  • africa

    Only 48 months? What kind of Justice is that… He should have gotten at least 10 years.

  • Gravy

    I had the esteemed pleasure of meeting Mr. Edwards in prison. I am also from his home state. I cannot say much about the man’s beliefs they are his to have after all. I can attest to the man I know who is not what comments on sites like these portray. He is an educated, well spoken, civilized man. He stands by his beliefs still to this day, but more focused on making life in prison bearable. I have seen him out argue the most radical of American hating Muslims, and Jews that was quite impressive. There may be some truth to what he preaches.

  • SILAS

    Attacking kids and these are grown men? Also I thought the KKK/IKA were suppose to be religious people as well? I have seen shows where they are praying and blah blah…this is really f#@k up!

  • wayne

    Lets call klansmen just what they are. Drug dealing,fear mongering terrorist. simply trying to benefit from the ignorance of others.

  • Mandy

    Ok…let me get this straight…he is serving ONLY 12 months and 1 day for federal drug and gun charges???????? Must be in “good” with the judge and prosecutors. I know someone who didn’t even possess a gun and had a 1/2 ounce of marijuana on him and he got 10 years!!!! JUSTICE IN THIS COUNTRY DOES NOT EXIST….ONLY THING THAT DOES IS GREED AND HATE…

  • dave

    The most effective thing to do to people like that is to constantly take away all their money. All jail does is keep them off the street ,which is nice anyway.

  • DixieMay

    Not enough time in prison for the harm this man’s hate has caused. I hope he enters never to return to society again. What an embarrassment to our race he and his ilk are!

  • Willie Salas

    Racism appears to run deep with this individual. There is racism in every group but to portray an entire group based on the actions of a few is counter productive. I agree with Chris’ comment, there are also good people in ALL races.
    Let us continue to stamp-out bigotryt and racism and learn to live in harmony with one another regardless of Ethnicity,Religion or gender.

  • George Sidoti

    …And throw away the key !

  • Dane

    Call it what you like mike,either way 48 months is not a long enough jail sentence,better than nothing but to say justice has really been done would be false.

  • chris

    Wow. I’ve seen a few documentaries on this guy. He thinks the Bible (The Word of God) was created for Whites only. When there are at least a dozen or so verses that say otherwise. Me and this guy do have at least one thing in common: Growing up he claims he and his brother were jumped by “minorities”. I think eventually his brother was killed. And that is a horrible thing. So that pushed him to racist groups ending with the Klan. I was jumped by certain Whites(they lived across the street from me) when I was a teen. Being called the N-word and being kicked and hit with bats. But the HUGE difference between me and this guy is I didn’t let the actions of a dozen or so bigots make me hate the MILLIONS of white people who live in this world. That’s IRRATIONAL.

  • Leslie

    You know that someone is paying attention to you when they tattoo your name on their head. LOL.

  • kate

    Speaking of hobbits…Edwards in that picture looks like some hobbit-eating troll.

    What a bunch of doofuses, I mean really, who on earth besides a complete moron would run around and proudly proclaim himself the “Grand Imperial Wizard” of anything and take it seriously?

    No wonder they skulk around in the dark, not only are they a bunch of cowards, but they got tired of people laughing at them.

    I sure also that the SPLC just withered right there in its tracks upon seeing that billboard on the right side of Edward’s puddin’ cap.

  • venomlash

    Well, a KKK Imperial Wizard has no magical powers beyond convincing his buddies that everything’s the fault of Catholics, Jews, and blacks…so I’d say, about 2.5 milli-Gandalfs.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Ok I’ll admit that I totally forgot about the Hobbit because I read it a long time ago. I’ll give credit for the exploding pine cones(never heard of a Klan wizard doing that, for sure). As for the Balrog obviously magical powers were involved but he did kill it with a sword to be sure. And also give credit to Eowyn for killing the Witch-King of Angmar.

    Alright, so if we accept that Gandalf can be used as a yardstick, how would a KKK Imperial Wizard measure up to that?

  • venomlash

    Oh, come on, Ruslan. In “The Hobbit”, Gandalf rained exploding pine cones down on a bunch of Wargs and goblins and stuck Glamdring through the Great Goblin, and in “The Lord of the Rings”, he killed a Balrog and later led a cavalry charge into a mass of Uruk-hai at Helm’s Deep.
    What more do you want from the guy? This is a wizard who went toe-to-toe with the Witch-King of Angmar!

  • Madolynn Cronk

    This is disgusting!!

  • Mitch Beales

    I’m the Grand Wazoo, from the hardware store. F you if you don’t like my tatoo.

    -after Frank Zappa

  • Jim Staples

    I’ve always ‘White Dope and White Supremacy go hand in hand” – ever since the days when the Waffin SS would get nice and high on their favorite cocktail of Methadone and Methamphetamine, stay up for, oh, say, three four weeks, become Sociopathically Psychotic, and then go toss some Slavic Babies back and forth on the points of their bayonettes.
    Ahhhh, yes….White Supremacists History….it always leaves me feeling so “proud” (NOT!).

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    What powers do Imperial Wizards have, exactly? Can they use magic missile attacks and shoot lightning bolts from their staffs? Or are they kind of disappointing like Gandalf(don’t even attack me over this, you know you wanted to see Gandalf incinerate some orcs at least once)?

  • Concerned Citizen

    Is being head of the klan,the same ting being the Grand Poobah?

  • Mark Potok

    Mike’s right, that was an error which is now fixed — Edwards was imperial wizard, or national leader, of the IKA. I did have to delete the name-calling part of Mike’s post.

  • mike

    The grand imperial wizard huh? there is no such office to be held.