Fourteen White Supremacists Indicted on Federal Racketeering Charges
Las Vegas, Nev. – Fourteen individuals have been indicted by the Federal Grand Jury on charges they are members of a white supremacy gang whose members operated within the Nevada state prisons as well as in the local communities to engage in acts of violence, including murder, extortion, corruption, illegal gambling, distribution of controlled substances, identity theft and credit card fraud, announced Steven W. Myhre, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
"Racist gangs in our prisons use corruption and violence to undermine the safety of both prison staff as well as the inmates who refuse to become involved in hate groups," said Acting U.S. Attorney Myhre. "The gang members charged in this indictment are alleged to have engaged not only in violence and crime in our prisons, but also of extending their reach outside prison by distributing methamphetamine and other drugs on the streets of our cities, threatening and extorting money from inmate families, and stealing and using false and fraudulent identification documents and credit cards, all in an ongoing effort to finance and spread their message of hatred and racial supremacy throughout Nevada. This investigation and prosecution demonstrates the commitment of our state and federal partners to aggressively deal with the dangers that gangs present to the prisons as well as our communities."
The Indictment, returned on Tuesday, July 10, 2007, and unsealed today, charges the 14 defendants with Conspiracy to Engage in a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO). Three defendants are also charged separately with acts of Violent Crime in Aid of Racketeering (VCAR), specifically Conspiracy to Commit an Assault With a Dangerous Weapon. Names of the defendants charged are listed at Page 6 of this News Release. Thirteen defendants are scheduled to appear tomorrow, Friday, July 13, 2007, at 9:30 a.m. for an initial appearance and arraignment and plea before United States Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen. The initial appearance and arraignment for the remaining defendant (Sellers) is scheduled for Friday, August 24, 2007, at 8:30 a.m. before United States Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leavitt.
The Indictment alleges that the defendants are members of the "Aryan Warriors," a criminal organization that operates both inside the Nevada prison system and in communities in Nevada. Historically, the Aryan Warriors organization has focused on the protection of white inmates and the promotion of white supremacy within the Nevada prisons. The gang asserts control over other prisoners through violence and extortion. Members of the gang inside Nevada prisons also corrupt guards, distribute illegal drugs, and run extensive illegal gambling operations. More recently, the Aryan Warriors have sought to expand their focus by the establishing of a "street program" for illegal activities for profit outside the prisons in the Las Vegas, Henderson, Pahrump, and Reno communities.
The Indictment alleges that members of the Aryan Warriors adhere to a written manifesto which promotes supremacy of the Aryan race and establishes certain positions or ranks within the enterprise, such as horn holders (leaders), bolt holders (full members), prospects (potential members), and associates (non-members who are affiliated with the organization.) The manifesto directs Aryan Warriors members and prospects to gain access to computer records, prison records and court records, and to elicit communications with prison staff for the purpose of identifying inmates and prison staff who they perceive as against their racial cause and a danger to their illegal activities.
The indictment further alleges that Aryan Warriors involved in the "street program" earn money through the distribution of drugs and other crimes within local Nevada communities. Drugs are provided to women and prison guards who smuggle the drugs into the prison. Aryan Warriors also use members, girlfriends and associates operating outside the prisons in the local communities to steal or fraudulently obtain identification documents and credit cards to steal cash or merchandise or to assist in concealing their identities in other criminal conduct. Aryan Warriors use cash earn in the "street program" to support other criminal activities of the gang and to financially support incarcerated Aryan Warrior leaders by placing money on the prison accounts.
Aryan Warriors allegedly corrupt guards and prison staff through bribery, including payments of both money and drugs. They use bribed guards to discourage guard oversight of their activities, to bring drugs into the prison, to control the prison yards, to operate gambling activities, to gain access to communications equipment, and to obtain paperwork or prison office assignments so they can identify inmates who can be extorted.
In addition to the racketeering conspiracy charge, the Indictment alleges that on about August 10, 2001, defendant Sellers and others, conspired to assault inmate Jacob Armstrong with a knife. Armstrong died as a result of the assault. On October 16, 2004, defendant Daniel Egan and others conspired to assault inmate Mark Fechtman with a razor-like instrument; on January 4, 2005, defendant Daniel Egan and others conspired to assault inmate Cody Dunn with a knife; and on February 19, 2007, Kenneth Krum and others conspired to assault William Gochenour with a baton inside a residential home.
"The goal of this investigation, accomplished by these arrests, was to significantly dismantle the Aryan Warriors organization by removing its leadership in the Nevada prison system and disrupting its street program, which is primarily involved in the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine and marijuana within Nevada Department of Corrections institutions and in Las Vegas, Pahrump and Reno," said Steven Martinez, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI for Nevada.
"These arrests are an important step in putting a stop to this type of activity in Nevada's prison system," said Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. "My office is working closely with the U.S. Attorney's office in prosecuting these inmates and we will also work with the Nevada Department of Corrections to prevent this type of activity from happening in the future."
If convicted, the defendants face up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine on the Conspiracy to Engage in a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization charge. Defendants Sellers, Egan, and Krum face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering Charges.
The case is being investigated by the FBI and Nevada Department of Corrections Inspector General's Office, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Eric Johnson and Kathleen Bliss, with assistance from the Nevada Attorney General's Office. Other agencies that have contributed to the investigated are the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
U.S. v. Ronald "Joey" Sellers, et al.
- Defendant Name, Age, Residence, Custody Status
- Ronald "Joey" Sellers, 39, Nevada Prison System
- Daniel Joseph Egan, 32, Nevada Prison System
- James Milton Wallis, 46, Nevada Prison System
- Ronnie Lee Jones, 47, Las Vegas, Arrested 7/12/07
- Guy Edward Almony, 35, Nevada Prison System
- Tony Howard Morgan, 38, Las Vegas, Arrested 7/12/07
- Kenneth Russell Krum, 37, Las Vegas, Arrested 7/12/07
- Charles Edward Gensemer, 43, Las Vegas, Arrested 7/12/07
- Kory Allen Crossman, 34, Federal Custody (prior charges)
- Michael Wayne Yost, 53, Pahrump, Arrested 7/12/07
- Charles Lee Axtell, 47, Nevada Prison System
- Scott Michael Sieber, 39, Nevada Prison System
- Jason F. Inman, 32, Nevada Prison System
- Robert Allen Young, 29, Nevada Prison System