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Crime & Courts

2 Alaskans charged in violent crimes connected to white supremacist prison gang, U.S. Attorney says

Two people were charged in connection with violent crimes tied to a prison-based white supremacist gang, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska said Wednesday.

The gang is known as the 1488s and members have been indicted on kidnapping, murder and assault charges during the last few years.

Justin Eaton, 45, of Anchorage and Felicia King, 55, of Wasilla joined several others in an indictment for what prosecutors say was a wide-ranging racketeering enterprise born out of an allegiance to the 1488 gang.

King was charged with accessory after the fact in connection with the beating, kidnapping and killing of 32-year-old gang member Michael Staton in August 2017, according to federal prosecutors.

Eaton, also known as “Skulls,” was charged with racketeer influenced and corrupt organizations, or RICO, conspiracy, kidnapping and assault for his alleged role in the April 2017 beating of a former member.

Several defendants in the original indictment — including Filthy Fuhrer, who legally changed his name from Timothy Lobdell; Roy Naughton, known as “Thumper,” 40; Glen Baldwin, known as “Glen Dog,” 37; Craig King, referred to as “Oakie,” 53; Colter O’Dell, 26; and Beau Cook, 32 — faced multiple racketeering-related charges, including murder, kidnapping and assault, tied to the killing of Staton.

Of the original defendants, all but Cook were charged in a RICO conspiracy. Naughton and Fuhrer additionally were charged with kidnapping and assault in aid of racketeering, in connection with incidents that happened in April 2017 and July 2017.

A joint investigation began in late 2017 and has resulted in 14 additional federal indictments related to the gang, according to Wednesday’s statement from Alaska U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder.

Fuhrer was a founding member of the group, which operated mainly out of the maximum-security Spring Creek Correctional Center, according to the indictment. The gang now operates in and out of prisons elsewhere in the country, investigators said.

Potential members are recruited and then required to serve a prison sentence before they can join the gang, according to the indictment. Members gain rank by committing crimes, the indictment said.

The group operates according to a widely distributed set of written rules that outline the structural order and rank of members, prosecutors said. Members identify through Nazi symbols and must commit violence on behalf of the gang before they’re able to get a tattoo, or “patch,” indicating that they’re a high-ranking member.

Around 2016, Fuhrer became concerned that other members would disobey the rules while he was incarcerated, the indictment said. In order to enforce discipline within the gang, he allowed members to impose violent punishment on those who had disobeyed, the indictment said.

In 2017, Naughton had become upset with Staton, who also went by the name “Steak Knife,” and asked Fuhrer for permission to “violently discipline Staton, because he had stolen from the Hells Angels and Naughton himself,” the indictment said. Fuhrer agreed and gang members took him to an abandoned Wasilla home, where he was beaten and later shoved into the trunk of a car and taken to Craig and Felicia King’s home, the indictment said.

Gang members had prepared an empty room with painting plastic in anticipation of beating Staton, according to the indictment. He was later wrapped in plastic and carpet, thrown in the trunk of a vehicle and taken to the woods, where O’Dell and Baldwin fatally shot him and burned his body, the indictment said.

Two other 1488 members, Nicholas M. Kozorra, 29, known as “Beast,” and Dustin J. Clowers, 34, previously pleaded guilty to murder in aid of racketeering. Cook also pleaded guilty to kidnapping for his role in Staton’s death.

The most serious crimes — murder in aid of racketeering and kidnapping resulting in death, in aid of racketeering — are punishable by mandatory life sentences, prosecutors said.

“Violent, race-motivated gangs don’t belong in Alaska’s communities, and those who engage in such violence will be aggressively pursued and held accountable,” said Robert Britt, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Anchorage Field Office. “Today’s additional charges exemplify the FBI’s commitment in using a task force approach to disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations wherever they may surface.”

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