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Update on Killing of Legal Professionals and White Supremacist Prison Syndicates

[1]

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. [2] (The flash dri­ve includes the anti-fas­cist books avail­able on this site.)

COMMENT: As inves­ti­ga­tions unfold into the mur­ders of Tom Clements [3] (chief of the Col­orado cor­rec­tions depart­ment) and Kauf­man Coun­ty (TX) DA Tom McClel­land and his wife [4], a num­ber of inter­est­ing and/or strange devel­op­ments [5] have sur­faced:

These devel­op­ments bring to mind a num­ber of con­sid­er­a­tions, sug­gest­ing that there may be more to this sto­ry than meets the eye:

“Is the Aryan Broth­er­hood of Texas about to Launch a Neo-Nazi Counter-Rev­o­lu­tion?” by Umber­to Bac­chi; Inter­na­tion­al Busi­ness Times; 4/3/2013. [15]

EXCERPT: Mem­bers of a white suprema­cist prison gang have been linked to a series of tar­get­ed killings of pub­lic offi­cials in Texas.

The Aryan Broth­er­hood of Texas (ABT) is sus­pect­ed of being behind the killings of Dis­trict Attor­ney Mike McLel­land and his wife along with the sep­a­rate exe­cu­tion-style mur­der of McLel­land’s main assis­tant, Mark Has­se.

An unof­fi­cial off­shoot of the Cal­i­for­nia-based Aryan Broth­er­hood, the 4,000-strong group was formed in the ear­ly 1980s in Tex­an pris­ons. Its main aim, said the FBI, was “pri­mar­i­ly con­cerned with the pro­tec­tion of white inmates and white supremacy/separatism”. . . .

. . . . Indeed, the Aryan Broth­er­hood and oth­er neo-Nazi gangs like Aryan Cir­cles and Pub­lic Ene­my Num­ber One, along with fringe patri­ot groups and sur­vival­ists’ mili­tias, are inspired by the The Turn­er Diaries, a blue­print for an apoc­a­lyp­tic race war which will bring down the US gov­ern­ment with cam­paign of ter­ror­ism, assas­si­na­tion and eco­nom­ic sab­o­tage tar­get­ing fed­er­al offi­cials, politi­cians, Jews, blacks and minori­ties.

“This [the Texas shoot­ings] could be a sig­nal, at least for this spe­cif­ic group, that they are coa­lesc­ing around a more open, out­right cam­paign of vio­lence against police and oth­er law enforce­ment offi­cials,” says Simi. “The big ques­tion is what impact that may have on the dozens of dif­fer­ent groups like this around the coun­try and whether they’ll say, ‘It’s time for us to step it up as well.’ ”

“Texas Pros­e­cu­tor Quits White Suprema­cists Case” [AP]; CBS News; 4/3/2013. [16]

EXCERPT: . . . . In the wake of the week­end slay­ings of a Texas dis­trict attor­ney and his wife that prompt­ed inves­ti­ga­tors to sus­pect a vio­lent white suprema­cist prison gang, an assis­tant U.S. attor­ney in Hous­ton has with­drawn from a large rack­e­teer­ing case against the Aryan Broth­er­hood of Texas, CBS News cor­re­spon­dent Anna Wern­er reports from Kauf­man, Texas.

Richard O. Ely II, a Hous­ton defense attor­ney for one of the 34 defen­dants, told The Dal­las Morn­ing News that Assis­tant U.S. Attor­ney Jay Hile­man sent him an email on Tues­day inform­ing him that he was off the case. . . .

“I under­stand why some­one would want to step back,” Ely told Hous­ton tele­vi­sion sta­tion KTRK-TV. “It makes sense to me, espe­cially peo­ple that have fam­i­lies.“ . . .

“Texas Pros­e­cu­tor and Wife Killed in ‘Tar­get­ed Act’ Two Months after Assis­tan­t’s Death” by Dominic Rushe; The Guardian [UK]; 3/31/2013. [17]

EXCERPT: . . . . Sam Rosander, who lives in the same unin­cor­po­rated area of Kauf­man Coun­ty as the McLel­lands, told the Asso­ci­ated Press that sheriff’s deputies were parked in the dis­trict attorney’s dri­ve­way for about a month after Has­se was killed. The DA had also armed him­self for pro­tec­tion, telling reporters that he car­ried a gun every­where and took extra care when open­ing the door at his home fol­low­ing his assistant’s death.

“I’m ahead of every­body else because, basi­cally, I’m a sol­dier,” the 23-year army vet­eran boast­ed in an inter­view less than two weeks ago.

Byrnes declined to com­ment on secu­rity arrange­ments ahead of the shoot­ing and would not go into detail as to the mea­sures now being brought in to pro­tect oth­er indi­vid­u­als.“ . . .

“Expert: Aryan Broth­er­hood of Texas are “Dumb Ol’ White Boys” Who Wouldn’t Kill a D.A.” by Anna Mer­lan;  Dal­las Observ­er; 4/3/2013. [18]

EXCERPT: When I spoke to Ter­ry Pelz late yes­ter­day after­noon, he sound­ed hoarse and exhaust­ed. “I’m just about talked out,” he said.

Pelz is a for­mer prison war­den at the Dar­ring­ton Unit who now runs a crim­i­nal jus­tice con­sult­ing firm in Mis­souri City, about 20 miles south­west of Hous­ton. He’s been in high demand the past cou­ple days, as an expert on the Aryan Broth­er­hood of Texas. The ABT are being eyed as pos­si­ble sus­pects in the killing of Kauf­man Coun­ty DA Mike McLel­land, his wife Cyn­thia and assis­tant DA Mark Has­se. The group is, as we out­lined yes­ter­day, a vio­lent and grow­ing crim­i­nal enter­prise through­out the state and espe­cially in north Texas. . . .

. . . . Although Pelz cer­tainly sees the ABT as a vio­lent and not par­tic­u­larly pleas­ant group of peo­ple, some­thing doesn’t sit right with him in the McLel­land and Has­se killings.

“That’d be a big leap for them,” he says. “I just don’t think it’s cred­i­ble that it’s them.”

Why is the ABT the focus of so much spec­u­la­tion in these mur­ders to begin with? A cou­ple rea­sons. As The Dal­las Morn­ing News’ Tanya Eis­erer wrote in Feb­ru­ary, after Hasse’s killing, the Texas Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safe­ty issued a bul­letin in Decem­ber, warn­ing that they had “cred­i­ble infor­ma­tion” that the ABT was plan­ning retal­ia­tory attacks on law enforce­ment offi­cers, after the mas­sive fed­eral indict­ment that net­ted 34 of their mem­bers, includ­ing five high-rank­ing “gen­er­als.” (Yes­ter­day, a Hous­ton fed­eral pros­e­cu­tor involved in that case qui­etly with­drew from it, prompt­ing spec­u­la­tion that he was afraid for his family’s safe­ty). . . .

. . . . But in the Kauf­man Coun­ty mur­ders, Pelz says, “It’s just not their style. I stud­ied them for almost 30 years. Like all prison gangs, they make threats on pub­lic offi­cials, but I’ve nev­er seen them car­ry them out.”

Why not? Well, Pelz says, after a moment of reflec­tion, “You’re deal­ing with a bunch of dumb ol’ white boys who are meth cook­ers.”

Mark Potok of the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter, a for­mer jour­nal­ist who’s also stud­ied the ABT, agrees that if the gang is involved, it would be an unprece­dented move for them.

“I wouldn’t say [the mur­ders] look like any­thing we’ve seen before from the ABT,” he says. “If in fact this is them, it would be an astound­ing kind of move to make.”

He points out that only about 20 pros­e­cu­tors in the U.S. have been mur­dered over the course of the entire 20th cen­tury. “It’s an incred­i­bly rare phe­nom­e­non. And I’ve nev­er heard of any prison gang assas­si­nat­ing cor­rec­tional offi­cials,” oth­er than the occa­sional prison guard. . . .

. . . . “We know 211 Crew is also involved in the drug trade,” Potok says. But he sounds skep­ti­cal. “How that relates, I don’t know. It’s con­ceiv­able that in some way these groups are work­ing togeth­er. I’m not sug­gest­ing that’s true or that I even think that’s true. It seems hard to believe, frankly.” . . .

. . . . That house­clean­ing some­times involves mur­der, Pelz acknowl­edges. But he spec­u­lates that the mur­ders in Kauf­man Coun­ty — and he’s quick to note that this is only spec­u­la­tion — have some­thing to do instead with the ABT’s grow­ing rela­tion­ship with Mex­i­can drug car­tels, who have bond­ed across racial lines over their shared love of sell­ing meth.

“Car­tels love that meth,” Pelz says. “They make bil­lions off of it.” Last year, as he points out, a raid on a meth lab south of the bor­der seized an eye­brow-rais­ing $4 bil­lion worth of the drug.

Pelz puts his mon­ey on a part­ner­ship between the ABT and the car­tels that’s soured. “Some­thing was dis­rupted and some­body got pissed off in the car­tel, I think,” he says. “And they got one of their asso­ciates to take care of busi­ness. I just don’t think the ABT was direct­ly involved in it.” . . .

“2 Men With Ties To White Suprema­cist Gang Sought In Colo. Prison Chief’s Killing” by Cather­ine Tsai [AP]; Talk­ing Points Memo; 4/4/2013. [19]

EXCERPT: Two more men con­nected to a vio­lent white suprema­cist gang are being sought in con­nec­tion with the slay­ing of Colorado’s pris­ons chief, and author­i­ties are warn­ing offi­cers that they are armed and dan­ger­ous.

The search comes about two weeks after prison gang mem­ber Evan Ebel — a sus­pect in the death of Depart­ment of Cor­rec­tions chief Tom Clements on March 19 and of Nathan Leon, a piz­za deliv­ery­man, two days ear­lier — was killed in a shootout with Texas deputies.

While it’s not clear whether the gang, the 211 Crew, is linked to the killing, the warn­ing bul­letin issued late Wednes­day by the El Paso Coun­ty Sheriff’s Depart­ment is the first offi­cial word that oth­er gang mem­bers may be involved.

James Lohr, 47, and Thomas Guolee, 31, aren’t being called sus­pects in Clements’ death, but their names have sur­faced dur­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion, El Paso Coun­ty sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Kramer said. He wouldn’t elab­o­rate.

Kramer said the two are known asso­ciates of the 211 gang. . . .

“Sus­pect Slipped Ankle Bracelet” by Nicholas Ric­car­dio [AP]; Seat­tle Post Intel­li­gencer; 4/2/2013.  [20]

EXCERPT: Parole offi­cials did not real­ize that a white suprema­cist gang mem­ber had slipped his ankle bracelet and fled cus­tody until five days after the sys­tem first flagged him as being delin­quent, accord­ing to records released Tues­day.

They sent a war­rant out for his arrest the next day, one day before he was killed in a shootout with Texas author­i­ties and a day after police now say they think he was involved in the slay­ing of Col­orado pris­ons chief Tom Clements.

“We have to do bet­ter in the future,” said Tim Hand, direc­tor of the Depart­ment of Correction’s parole divi­sion.

Evan Spencer Ebel had been a mod­el parolee until his elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing bracelet stopped work­ing March 14. Before that, he called in dai­ly, even once call­ing in alarm because no one had request­ed his week­ly uri­nal­y­sis test to show he hadn’t been using drugs. . . .

. . . . Judi­cial offi­cials acknowl­edged Mon­day that Ebel’s pre­vi­ous felony con­vic­tion was inac­cu­rately record­ed and his release in Jan­u­ary was an error. . . .