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The Blotter: August 2008

Updates on Extremism and the Law

Crosses in front of an Abbeville, S.C., home memorialized two lawmen murdered by antigovernment extremists in 2003.

The Ventura, Calif., leader of the Confederation of Racialist Working Class Skinheads was indicted on hate crime, weapons and criminal threats charges. Ian Eugene Morrow, 39, allegedly yelled racial slurs while leading an attack on a Latino bouncer in August 2005. Police later searched Morrow's home and found an illegal pair of metal-packed gloves. While out on bail for the 2005 attack, Morrow allegedly made criminal threats during a business dispute involving a pit bull.

Russell Dean Landers, a member of the antigovernment Montana Freemen who was serving an 11-year prison sentence for conspiracy, bank fraud and threatening a federal judge, was sentenced to an additional 15 years after being convicted of trying to extort his release from the federal prison in El Reno, Okla. Landers, 56, was one of four inmates who demanded hundreds of thousands of dollars from officials for using the inmate's names, which the men claimed had been "copyrighted."

Two members of the Berdoo Skins, a racist skinhead crew in San Bernardino, Calif., were sentenced to a combined 23 years in prison after being convicted of attempted hate murder. Ryan Christopher White, 30, and Anthony Scott Allen, 24, were on their way to a "Free the Order" neo-Nazi rally (The Order was an infamous white supremacist terror group of the 1980s) near Los Angeles when they randomly stabbed a black man during a restroom stop in Claremont, Calif.

Yolo County, Calif. jurors recommended the death penalty for white supremacist gang member Brendt Volarvich, 22. The same jury convicted Volarvich in April of first-degree murder for shooting to death California Highway Patrol Officer Andy Stevens during a traffic stop on a rural road in November 2005.

Federal prosecutors in Las Vegas indicted more than a dozen members of the Aryan Warriors, a prison-based white supremacist gang, for murder, extortion, bribing guards and trafficking drugs. The gang has operated inside the Nevada prison system since at least 1991.

Antigovernment "Patriot" Arthur Bixby, 78, was committed to a South Carolina mental hospital to determine his competency to stand trial for the shooting deaths of Abbeville County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Danny Wilson and State Constable Donnie Ouzts in 2003. Bixby's son and wife were convicted last year of murdering the lawmen and sentenced to death and life imprisonment, respectively. Arthur Bixby ultimately was ruled mentally ill and committed indefinitely.

Spokane, Wash., racist skinhead James Douglas Ross, 26, was sentenced to 14 months in prison for helping a white supremacist activist from Canada sneak into the United States after she was denied legal entry. Ross, a leader of the Eastern Washington Skinheads, was thrown out of the armed forces after being caught shipping AK-47s to the United States from Iraq in 2004.

Ronald David Cole, a prominent figure in the militia movement of the 1990s, was convicted of fraud in a federal court in Toledo, Ohio. Cole, the former commander of the Colorado First Light Infantry, pleaded guilty to 14 charges, including a dozen counts of manufacturing fake birth certificates, Social Security cards and driver's licenses. Cole served two years in prison in the late 1990s for possession of illegal machine guns.

More than 30 members and associates of the Invaders Motorcycle Club, a white supremacist gang founded in 1965 in Gary, Ind., were arrested on drug trafficking charges during raids throughout Northwest Indiana, Missouri and Colorado. DEA agents seized chemicals used to make methamphetamine, 35 firearms, and paraphernalia bearing the gang's logo — a swastika with "SS" lightning bolts.

Two members of Tampa Blood and Honour, a chapter of a particularly violent international white supremacist organization, were indicted in Florida for beating two homeless men to death in 1998. Two other members had already pleaded guilty to the crimes. Federal officials say the men planned to participate in a race war and killed the homeless men because they were deemed inferior.