Neo-Nazi Gang Members Indicted for Racketeering

Posted: March 7, 2002

Neo-Nazi Gang Members Indicted for Racketeering

Twelve alleged members or associates of the Nazi Low Riders (NLR), a white supremacist street and prison gang, were indicted by a Los Angeles federal grand jury on February 12. The 17-count indictment charges that the twelve violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) through extortion, conspiring to distribute drugs in prison, witness tampering, robbery, attempted murder and murder in various California state penitentiaries.

“The indictment alleges that members of the NLR committed acts of violence to spread a white supremacist philosophy and to control the drug trafficking activities of Caucasian inmates,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a press release. “NLR members are subject to a series of rules and regulations, such as obeying all orders given by ‘seniors’ (leaders) and not engaging in ‘race mixing.'”

The NLR, which originated in California juvenile detention facilities in the 1970s, rose to power through an alliance with an older white supremacist prison gang, the Aryan Brotherhood. This alliance, in which NLR members acted as middlemen for the Brotherhood’s various criminal enterprises, helped build NLR’s brutal and ambitious reputation and created new criminal opportunities unrelated to the Brotherhood. The group has grown increasingly powerful in several state prisons in recent years as officials have cracked down on the Aryan Brotherhood and its leadership.

“To maintain control over the Caucasian prison population, the Brotherhood needed to give authority and power to another group that had the accessibility and mobility to continue committing crimes in prison,” the indictment alleged. “Accordingly, the NLR took over the control and the power of the Caucasian inmates within California’s prison system. In turn for having been given control of the yards by the Brotherhood, the NLR would commit criminal acts for the Brotherhood as requested.”

The indictment follows a three-year, NLR investigation involving the FBI, Ontario Police Department, the state Department of Corrections, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Costa Mesa Police Department.

Those indicted were: Joseph Hayes, 38; Joseph Lowery, 28; Michael Bridge, 34; Brian Roberg, 30; Jeffrey Langenhorst, 39; Ty Fowles, 34; William Richie, 29; James Mowatt, 39; Robert Baltimore, 32; James Prescott, 28; Brian Johnston, 25; and Jennifer D’Anna, 28.

Bridge and Baltimore also were indicted for the 1996 murder of inmate Karl Hennings Sr. at the Devore (California) state prison. If found guilty, they could face the death penalty.

Nazi Low Riders Recent Criminal Activity

February 22, 2002. Steven Maurice Miko, 38, who has ties to the Nazi Low Rider gang, was sentenced to 17 consecutive terms of 25 years to life plus seven years for a 11/2-month crime spree for kidnapping, assault, and multiple counts of burglary, possessing stolen property and evading police.

August, 21, 2001. California. Capping an 18-month investigation into a drug ring linked to white supremacist and biker gangs that distributed methamphetamine as far away as New York, law enforcement authorities raided 22 homes and businesses in the Antelope Valley and one San Fernando Valley home, arresting 23 people and seizing more than 30 firearms and an undetermined amount of methaphetamine. Prior to the raids, officials said they had arrested 269 people, shut down 16 methamphetamine laboratories, confiscated more than 45 pounds of methamphetamine valued at more than $2 million and seized scores of firearms and more than $500,000 in cash. Of the 269 previously arrested, at least thirty percent are believed to be members of the Supreme White Power, Nazi Low Rider or Peckerwoods prison gangs or the Vagos motorcycle gang. Additionally, police stated that most of the “higher-ups” in the organization are followers of some sort of white supremacist ideology.

April 3, 2001. Jesse Chapman, 22, of Lancaster California, was arrested along with two other people on suspicion of possession of narcotics for sale. Investigators found almost four ounces of methamphetamine and a two-liter bottle of unfinished methamphetamine product. Chapman is a reputed member of the Nazi Low Rider prison gang.

March 29, 2001. Scott Kuhn and Marcello Castellano, both of Lancaster, California, are arrested after police seize a cache of weapons at a storage facility belonging to them. Kuhn is booked on possession of illegal weapons or explosives, while Castellano is booked on parole violation and possession of narcotics. Police recover 69 firearms, including two fully automatic guns, three inert hand grenades, body armor, a sheriff’s uniform and handgun, and a silencer. Police officials state that they believe the men are linked to the Nazi Low Riders.

March 15, 2001. Gregory Lee Claunch, Jr., of Merced, California, is arrested following a stabbing attack on an African-American man on suspicion of attempted murder and a hate crime. Claunch, who has admitted to being a member of the Nazi Low Riders, allegedly told police that he stabbed the victim because he does not like black people. Claunch was later sentenced to 20 years in prison for the attack.

February 5, 2001. Two alleged members of the Nazi Low Riders are arrested on drug and parole violation charges in Lancaster, California. Arrested are Christopher Dean Jenkins and Alfonso Anthony Rodriguez; also arrested is Roxanne Simonson, a girlfriend of Jenkins. The two were reportedly caught possessing methamphetamine, as well as compound bows.

January 19, 2001. Inmate Danny Black receives three life sentences in Los Angeles Superior Court for his role in the 1995 murder of a fellow prisoner by stabbing him 120 times. Two other inmates, Michael Beattie and Jason Schmaus, had already received life sentences for their role in the slaying. All three inmates are affiliated with either the Aryan Brotherhood or the Nazi Low Riders, two white supremacist prison gangs.

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