Neo-Nazi National Alliance Leader Indicted in Civil Rights Conspiracy
A federal grand jury has indicted the top leader of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, once the most feared hate group in America, and charged him and two subordinates with conspiring to deprive non-white people in Salt Lake City of their civil rights, the U.S. Department of Justice announced today.
Alliance Chairman Shaun A. Walker, 38, was arrested at the West Virginia headquarters of the group on Thursday. On the same day, Travis D. Massey, 29, the Alliance's Salt Lake City unit coordinator, and Eric G. Egbert, 21, of Salt Lake City were arrested in Utah. Each man is charged with one count of conspiracy to interfere with civil rights and one count of interference with a federally protected activity.
"These arrests may mark the final stage in what has been a long decline in the National Alliance," said Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, which has monitored the Alliance since the 1980s. "What was once the most important hate group in America may soon be just a memory."
Prosecutors allege that the three engaged in a conspiracy between December 2002 and March 2003 to provoke fights with non-white persons "in order to make them afraid to appear in public, work and live" in Salt Lake City, prosecutors said. If the men are convicted, they could face up to 20 years in prison apiece.
The indictment alleges two specific attacks -- a Dec. 31, 2002, assault by all three men on a Mexican-American man identified only as "J.B." in O'Shucks, a Salt Lake City bar, and a March 15, 2003, assault on a Native-American individual in a bar called Port O'Call by Massey and an unidentified person.
Shaun Walker was named chairman of the Alliance on April 25, 2005, replacing Erich Gliebe, who was being widely criticized within the group. By his own account, Walker joined the Alliance in 1999, and was named Salt Lake City unit coordinator soon thereafter. He became the Alliance's Western Regional Coordinator in 2002, and was named chief operating officer the next year.
Walker was born and raised in California, but later moved to Utah. He says he served in the Marine Corps between 1986 and 1990, and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California, San Diego, in molecular biology. Walker also says he has worked in construction and as a lab technician and research scientist.
The National Alliance is a group that has produced a huge number of criminals, including men who have engaged in shootouts with police, robbed banks, carried out assassinations and bombings, and killed suspected informers. Its founder and long-time leader, William Pierce, wrote a novel called The Turner Diaries, which has inspired terrorists including the 1995 Oklahoma City bombers.
Pierce died in 2002, and the Alliance has been in decline ever since. At the time of Pierce's death, the group had more than 1,400 members and 17 full-time, paid staffers, and was grossing about $1 million a year. Today, the group has fewer than 200 members, a small handful of staffers, and a money-losing operation.
The continuing collapse of the National Alliance, including Shaun Walker's role. summer 2005
Sleazy behavior and financial problems in the National Alliance, with a mention of Shaun Walker. fall 2004
Against the Wall
The travails of the National Alliance. fall 2003
The Alliance and the Law
Summary of crimes committed by members of the National Alliance. fall 2002