The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
With a trial set to begin in three months, federal prosecutors in Texas have obtained guilty pleas from 19 of the 36 Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) members accused of multiple acts of murder, robbery, arson, kidnapping and narcotics trafficking.
The latest pleas came last week from Ronald Lee “Big Show” Prince, 44, and Stephen Tobin “Scuba Steve” Mullen, 44, both of Dallas. Both men pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity. At sentencing in October, they both face maximum sentences of life in prison.
Like the others who have pleaded guilty, Prince and Mullen confessed to being part of a criminal enterprise that federal investigators claim has operated in and out of various prisons since at least 1993.
The ABT, established in the early 1980s, is considered one of the most violent crime syndicates in the United States. It was modeled on the white supremacist philosophy of the Aryan Brotherhood, a California-based prison gang formed in that state’s prison system during the 1960s.
By striking plea deals with some of the defendants, Justice Department prosecutors appear to be setting the stage to have some members of the enterprise testify against their former co-conspirators in exchange for lighter sentences under “substantial assistance” provisions of sentencing guidelines.
Late last year, the Justice Department withdrew its option of seeking the death penalty in the case. Still, many of the defendants face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The case began with an initial racketeering conspiracy indictment brought in November 2012 against 36 members of the “violent, whites-only prison-based gang with thousands of members operating” in and out of prisons throughout Texas and elsewhere. Since then, there have been two superseding indictments, as prosecutors fined-turned their cases against remaining defendants, using a secret grand jury and cooperating defendants and witnesses.
The federal racketeering law allows prosecutors to include multiple crimes in one all-encompassing indictment. ( continue to full post… )
The dead man’s transgression, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, was he “refused to protest the fact that he had a black cellmate.”
“The defendants pressured the victim to take any steps necessary to be reassigned to another cell,” the statement continued, adding that when the man, who did not belong to a prison gang, refused to comply “the defendants regarded this refusal as a violation of their gang code.”
The victim, Kenneth Mills, and the white supremacist gang members convicted of his murder – Donald R. LaFond Jr., 53, of New Bedford, Mass., and Jason Robert Widdison, 35, of Morgan, Utah – were inmates at the United States Penitentiary in Atlanta. Authorities said LaFond was a member of the Aryan Resistance Militia and that Widdison belonged to the Soldiers of Aryan Culture. ( continue to full post… )
Four members of a white supremacist prison gang and a female accomplice were arraigned this afternoon in Tacoma, Wash., on charges related to the brutal stabbing death last month of a fellow gang member.
Derek Wagner was stabbed multiple times, including once in the heart, and bled to death after he was confronted with accusations of having a sexual relationship with one of the defendants’ wives and associating with a rival gang, authorities said.
“This is a case of white supremacists killing one of their own,” Pierce County prosecutor Mark Lindquist said at midday in announcing the charges. “The victim was murdered for violating the gang’s own code.”
Those charged were Jeffrey Allen Cooke, 32, Melissa Ann Bourgault, 33, Mark Michael Stredicke, 37, Eric Michael Elliser, 33, and Shanne Thomas McKrittrick, 32, all residents of the Tacoma area. They each were arraigned on charges of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the second degree.
Authorities say Bourgault is McKittrick’s girlfriend.
Federal prosecutors now have guilty pleas from fully half the 36 members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) who were indicted last year for committing multiple acts of murder, robbery, arson, kidnapping and narcotics trafficking.
To date, 18 of the defendants have entered guilty pleas, and the remaining 18 are scheduled to stand trial May 12 in U.S. District Court in Houston. Other guilty pleas likely could occur between now and the trial date.
The ABT is considered one of the most violent crime syndicates in the United States – responsible for crimes both in and out of prisons. It was established in the early 1980s within the Texas penal system, modeling itself around the white supremacist philosophy of the Aryan Brotherhood, a California-based prison gang formed in that state’s prison system during the 1960s. ( continue to full post… )
When a gunman assassinated the head of Colorado’s prison system at his home last March 19, it provided a deadly example of the threat from white supremacist prison gangs.
The suspect in the case, 28-year-old Denver parolee Evan Ebel, was a member of 211 Crew, a particularly vicious regional white supremacist prison gang whose size has been estimated at somewhere between several hundred and a thousand members, all in Colorado.
Ebel was killed during a shootout with police after wounding a North Texas sheriff’s deputy and then crashing his car during a chase that reached speeds of over 100 mph. Police believe he may also have murdered a pizza delivery man, then stolen his uniform to use as a ruse to gain access to the home of Tom Clements, the Colorado prison official who was slain. He was the second 211 Crew member slain during a confrontation with police within a 13-month span.
Today, the Southern Poverty Law Center, publisher of Hatewatch, released a new training video intended to help correctional and law enforcement officers understand the structure of these gangs, their criminal enterprises and the signs, such as distinctive tattoos, that officers can use to identify members’ affiliations. ( continue to full post… )
The Aryan Brotherhood, a prison-based white supremacist gang, reportedly has issued a $10,000 reward for the killing of two black teenagers accused of beating to death a World War II veteran in Spokane, Wash.
Delbert “Shorty” Belton, an 88-year-old vet who fought in the battle of Okinawa, was attacked in his car at the Eagles Lodge parking lot in North Spokane on Aug. 21 and died the next day.
Demetruis Glenn and Kenan Adams-Kinard, both 16, were arrested separately and charged with what police described as a robbery-homicide in a case that has drawn national media attention.
The reported bounty posted by the Aryan Brotherhood is mentioned in court documents explaining why Superior Court Judge Debra Hayes ordered the suspects transferred from a juvenile detention facility to protective adult custody in the Spokane County Jail, The Spokesman-Review reported today. When suspects are led from the juvenile facility to court, they pass through an open courtyard accessible by the public, but the adult jail doesn’t allow that access. ( continue to full post… )
A white supremacist and career criminal who sent threatening letters laced with fake anthrax powder to a federal judge and a prosecutor in Arkansas will have a lot of time in the coming decades to think over his many misdeeds.
LeRoy Shawn Selsor, who claims to be a member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) prison gang, was sentenced last week to 15 years in federal prison without the possibility of parole. But the 36-year with a baseball-size swastika on his neck won’t be able to even start serving that federal prison time until approximately 2025, when he completes a 20-year state prison term in Arkansas for stabbing and robbing a disabled man in a wheelchair. ( continue to full post… )
Eight alleged members of three white supremacist gangs are in custody in Portland, Ore., following a police raid.
The arrests came after an investigation into drug and weapons trafficking, the Oregonian reported. During the raid at a triplex in northeast Portland, police seized six firearms, drug paraphernalia and packaging materials, drug-sales records and approximately 1.5 ounces of methamphetamine packaged for street sales, the newspaper reported.
The two living units where the raid occurred last week were identified by police as a “central location and gathering place” for known white supremacist gang members from European Kindred, Brood and FBK. European Kindred is a prison-based gang, while Brood also operates behind the walls but primarily on the outside. ( continue to full post… )
Federal prosecutors in Texas have obtained guilty pleas from eight of the 35 members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) charged with racketeering and a host of violent crimes, including murders, arsons, robberies and assaults.
The first guilty pleas in the massive prosecution came just two months after federal charges were filed, suggesting prosecutors have a strong case and are working to strike deals with some of the accused who could get lighter sentences in exchange for cooperation. But some of the guilty pleas include specific language that the defendant isn’t cooperating — so they don’t end up with a “snitch jacket” and protective custody while doing prison time. ( continue to full post… )
Two white supremacists are in custody and two more are being sought in the beating death in Tennessee of a volunteer firefighter who authorities say was affiliated with the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations.
At least one of the four suspects is reportedly a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, a prison-based, “whites-only” gang that is known as one of the most violent of its type in the country. In recent years, felons released from prison have increasingly continued to work for the Aryan Brotherhood, which frequently is involved in drug dealing, in the outside world. ( continue to full post… )