A man claiming to be a founding member of the violent neo-Nazi Vinlanders Social Club has been convicted in Florida in a case that grew out of an unsolved crossbow murder in New Mexico in 2015.
Adrian “Skitz” Apodaca was convicted Tuesday by a jury in Fort Lauderdale of using interstate facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire; possession of a firearm during a violent or drug trafficking crime, robbery and being a felon in possession of ammunition.
In finding Apodaca guilty, the jury rejected the defense argument that he was entrapped by the FBI, which used a paid informant who also espouses white supremacy beliefs.
Apodaca, 45, faces up to life in prison when he’s sentenced Dec. 8 in U.S. District Court.
He was arrested last October by FBI agents at a motel in Valdosta, Georgia, where he had traveled after agreeing to carry out the contract killing of a reputed drug dealer in a scheme that actually was a sting operation.
Apodaca was offered $5,000 and a false identity that he said he needed to avoid investigators looking to question him about the unsolved crossbow murder of Robert “Machete Bob” McGuire in New Mexico, according to court documents and trial testimony.
The FBI’s investigation began in late 2015 when a paid federal informant, who admits being a white supremacist himself, met Apodaca after he moved into a trailer house behind the clubhouse of the Dirty White Boys motorcycle club in Davie, Florida. The informant, himself a member of the motorcycle gang, testified that he cooperated with the FBI because “unprovoked violence undermines the cause of white supremacy,” the Sun-Sentinel reported in today’s editions.
Court documents say the FBI investigation was begun “to mitigate any potential threats posed by Apodaca and to determine whether he was engaging in criminal activities.”
A twice-convicted felon with previous convictions in Arizona and Indiana, Apodaca was a member of the Vinlanders, a neo-Nazi gang formed in 2003 with a history of violent crimes throughout the United States. The gang follows a racist, pagan religion known as Odinism.
The informant testified that Apodaca knew how “Machete Bob” McGuire was killed and that his body was buried in a shallow grave in the New Mexico desert several months before the remains were discovered. Apodaca is a “leading suspect” in the open investigation, but has not been charged with the murder, the case detective testified during the Florida trial, the newspaper reported.
As the investigation unfolded, agents obtained secretly recorded conversations where Apodaca boasted that he and other Vinlanders had “killed a lot of people” while posing as police officers who ripped off drug houses in Arizona.
From there, the informant introduced Apodaca to what turned out to be a team of undercover agents — including a supervisor driving a red Corvette — posing as a gang of wealthy white supremacists selling cocaine.
In short order, the undercover gang asked Apodaca if he could kill a man named “Tony” over a drug debt he owed. “Yeah, I just need to get a silencer, a weapon, a drop off point, a picture,” Apodaca said on a secretly made recording before he traveled to the Georgia motel where he was arrested.
Testifying in his own defense, Apodaca described himself as a “serial fabricator, not a multiple murderer,” the Florida newspaper reported. He testified he spun “tall tales and legends,” designed to impress fellow white supremacists, and was set up by undercover agents who offered him cash to carry out the murder plot.
He will remain in jail without bond until sentencing.