California


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. A fourth defendant, who testified against the three, earlier received a 22 year sentence.

January 19, 2001. Donald Rudolph, former leader of the San Joaquin Militia, pleads guilty to withholding knowledge of a conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction in connection with a plot to destroy a propane storage facility near Elk Grove in 1999, as well as conspiring to kill U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge. Two other militia members, Kevin Ray Patterson and Charles Dennis Kiles, have also been charged and await trial. Rudolph is already serving a 30 month sentence for illegal possession of a machine gun.

January 22, 2001. Yorba Linda resident Jeffrey Stuart Martin receives a nearly five year federal prison sentence for a 1996 stabbing. Martin, allegedly a member of a white power gang called Insane White Boys, had used a knife to assault a black teenager walking home from work

January 24, 2001. White supremacist Buford O. Furrow, Jr., pleads guilty to murdering a Filipino-American postal worker as well as to other counts related to his August 1999 shooting spree, which was primarily directed against a Los Angeles Jewish community center. Furrow will spend the rest of his life in prison without parole as part of the plea agreement.

January 30, 2001. Elk Grove resident Glayd Charles Allen is rebooked following his arrest the previous week on weapons charges. Sacramento County sheriff’s department investigators found seventy weapons in his home, including eight that are considered assault weapons. The charges against him now include suspicion of eight counts of possession of an assault weapon and 29 counts of possession of an explosive device. A sheriff’s department representative said Allen was a survivalist, but did not know if he was a member of any particular group.

February 5, 2001. Two alleged members of the Nazi Low Riders are arrested on drug and parole violation charges in Lancaster. 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.

February 7, 2001. Richard Finley of Sacramento, California, receives a sentence of four years in federal prison following his conviction on four counts of attempting to pass bogus money orders created by the Montana Freemen. Finley, owner of America’s Legal Bookstore, had attempted to use one of the bogus instruments to pay his IRS debts.

February 9, 2001. Jack Houston, a Lake Elsinore, California, resident and alleged skinhead, enters into a plea agreement for his role in a 2000 hate attack in a supermarket parking lot. Houston reportedly instigated the attack against the victim, who was perceived to be Mexican. Houston will receive a six-year prison sentence. Another defendant, Staci Ann Schillace, previously pled guilty to a misdemeanor hate-crime charge and received a 210-day sentence. A third defendant, Kenny James Vierra, the person who allegedly punched the victim, has been offered a plea deal similar to Houston’s.

February 12, 2001. Three Sacramento area residents are convicted of mail fraud and equity-skimming in a real estate fraud case. Raymond Hall, Richard Buschman, and Sandra Weaver, are reported to have promised 11 homeowners facing mortgage difficulties that they could stop foreclosures by transferring their homes to trusts set up by the defendants, who would collect rent from the homeowners and pay the mortgage companies. However, the defendants allegedly pocketed the money, causing the homeowners to lose their homes and ruin their credit ratings. Such schemes have been popular among anti-government extremists. While it is not known if all of the defendants have evinced such sensibilities, Raymond Hall, in a separate case, is also charged with having tried to pass bogus "Montana Freeman" style checks ostensibly worth more than $7.9 million to the IRS, various banks, and other institutions. Charges related to the real estate case are pending against a fourth defendant, Michael Fritch, while a fifth defendant, Albert Mueller, previously pled guilty to misdemeanor theft.

February 13, 2001. In Ventura County, skinhead Justin Merriman is convicted on nineteen charges, including first degree murder, in the 1992 killing of Katrina Montgomery. Merriman was a member of the Skinhead Dogs, a white power skinhead group, who was accused of raping and fatally stabbing and beating Montgomery, raping two other women, resisting arrest, and attempting to intimidate witnesses. He faces the death penalty.

February 16, 2001, Ohio. A group of "sovereign citizens" from Ohio and California file involuntary bankruptcy proceedings against a Cleveland-area Cadillac dealership following their arrest on forgery, attempted grand theft, and extortion charges for having allegedly used a sovereign citizen tactic known as "Redemption" in an attempt to purchase over $170,000 worth of cars. The four suspects, Matthew Perri, Thomas Carnes, and Charles Colombo, Jr., all of Ohio, and Ronald Lutz, from Rancho Santa Margarita, California, were unlucky in their choice of car dealership; in September 1999 an unrelated group of "Redemptionists" attempted the same trick, so the dealership was familiar with the tactic. It must still, however, deal with the retaliatory involuntary bankruptcy filings.

February 20, 2001. Law enforcement officers from the Multi-Agency Gang Enforcement Consortium in Fresno, California, arrest Daren Barger on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon causing great bodily injury and attempted robbery. Barger, an alleged skinhead and member of a white supremacist gang, is suspected of having been one of several skinheads who attempted to rob a 7-Eleven in Fresno in December 2000.

February 22, 2001. Roseville, California, residents Dorothy and George Henderson receive lengthy prison terms for selling trusts to clients to help them evade income taxes. The Hendersons allegedly helped people evade at least $13.8 million in federal income taxes. At their sentencing, the Hendersons, self-declared "sovereign citizens," tell the judge that the Internal Revenue Service has no authority over them. Dorothy Henderson receives a sentence of more than 11 years in prison, while George Henderson receives a six and a half year sentence. Because of Dorothy Henderson’s claims, the judge adds five months to her sentence beyond the request of prosecutors.

February 23, 2001. Kenny James Vierra, an alleged skinhead and white supremacist, pleads guilty to assault with force likely to commit great bodily injury, as a hate crime, as part of a plea deal in which he will receive a six year sentence. Vierra punched a man he thought was Mexican in October 2000. Two others involved with the incident, Jack Houston and Staci Ann Schillace, previously pled guilty.

February 28, 2001, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington, Costa Rica. Lowell Wayne Anderson, a Fresno-area resident, is arrested in connection with a multimillion dollar tax fraud case and charged with violating money laundering statutes. Anderson is associated with an organization known as Anderson Ark & Associates, which authorities say markets offshore trusts and other schemes to allow people to illegally avoid paying income taxes. Also charged is Lowell’s brother, Keith Anderson, a resident of Costa Rica and, according to his Web site, a self declared expert in "common law" who claims to help people free themselves from "U.S. D.C. jurisdiction." Additional people charged in the case are Karolyn Grosnickle of Washington, Richard Marks of California, Richard Castellini of New Jersey, and Michael Gonet of Massachusetts. According to authorities, Keith Anderson and Karolyn Grosnickle have not yet been arrested and are now considered fugitives; Costa Rica has no extradition treaty with the United States.

March 1, 2001. Three white supremacists—Daniel Glen Butler, Gregory Allen McDaniel, and Jason Mac McCully—admit to beating and stabbing a black man near Temecula, California in March 1999. They also admit they are associated with the Western Hammerskins, a racist skinhead group. In return for their plea of guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and a hate crime, they will receive sentences of four years each. Three co-defendants—Travis George Miskam, Alan Thomas Yantis, and Jesse David Douglas-- still await trial.

March 12, 2001. A Ventura County jury sentences skinhead Justin Merriman to death for raping and killing a woman in 1992, and committing other violent crimes.

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, a white supremacist prison and street gang, allegedly told police that he stabbed the victim because he does not like African-Americans.

March 16, 2001, Colorado. Steve Douglas Gartin, a "sovereign citizen" and Christian Identity adherent, is arrested in Fairfax, California in connection with a seventeen-count Colorado indictment generally related to the filing of bogus liens and other harassing filings against public officials in Colorado. Also arrested and charged are Eric Mitchell and Charles Clements.

March 16, 2001. Under a plea agreement, white supremacist Alex Curtis, operator of the "Nationalist Observer" Web site and a proponent of "lone wolf" terrorism, pleads guilty in San Diego to two civil rights violations for threatening various people and vandalizing two synagogues. Curtis also agrees to apologize to the people he victimized and to refrain from engaging in white supremacist activity during three years of probation. Of the three other defendants in the case, one, Michael B. DaSilva, still awaits trial, while to others await sentencing.

March 20, 2001. In Ventura County, a group of four or five skinheads attack an Oxnard, California, man who was just walking down the street. According to police, the attackers told the victim that they were skinheads and that he should "go back to Mexico." The victim offered them his wallet, but they refused it and began to beat him. Police have no initial suspects.

March 22, 2001. Alleged white supremacist gang member James Allen Gamache is sentenced to 230 years in prison by an Orange County jury for his involvement in a car chase and shootout with police in May 2000.

March 22, 2001. Palo Alto police arrest two Bay Area electricians, Matthew Rieder and Aaron Richardson, on felony explosive charges after they are called to the area to investigate possible gunfire. Finding the remnants of what appeared to be homemade bombs, police search the vehicles of the two men and find a variety of bomb-making materials, knives, ammunition, manuals on how to kill police offices, and a t-shirt bearing the phrase "white power white pride."

March 24, 2001, Nevada. Three admitted white supremacists are arrested in Reno, Nevada, in connection with an attack in February on an interracial couple. Taken into custody are Dustin Abbey, Kevin Pennington, and Craig Pennington, all California residents; they are charged with battery and hate crime charges.

March 26, 2001. Sacramento-area resident Raymond Hall pleads guilty to using a bogus check labeled a "comptroller warrant," a scheme popularized by the Montana Freemen in the mid-1990s, to pay IRS debts of more than $600,000. Hall made the warrant out for $3 million; he also sent such warrants to other institutions, including to two banks which cashed the warrant sent to them. Hall, with two associates, was also convicted on February 12 in a real estate fraud case.

March 26, 2001. White supremacist Buford Furrow receives five life sentences for his role in a 1999 shooting spree in Los Angeles that wounded five people at a Jewish community center and killed a American-American postal worker. Furrow apologizes to the victims at his sentencing. He had originally called the shooting a "wake-up call to America to kill Jews."

March 27, 2001. In a strange case that has received much publicity, two San Francisco lawyers are indicted on charges that include second-degree murder and arrested in Northern California. Robert Noel and his wife, Marjorie Knoller, were taking care of two large mastiffs that killed a neighbor in January 2001. Knoller faces charges of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and failing to control a mischievous animal that harmed a human; Noel is charged with involuntary manslaughter and the animal charge. According to authorities, the animals were raised as part of a dog-fighting ring run from Pelican Bay State Prison by two inmates, Paul Schneider and Dale Bretches, who are serving life sentences without parole and who both belong to the Aryan Brotherhood, a white supremacist prison gang. Noel and Knoller adopted Schneider as their son shortly after the killing.

March 30, 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 73 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 suspects are linked to the Nazi Low Riders, a white supremacist prison and street gang.

July 3, 2001, California. In Sacramento, a jury finds Joshua Mark Gilmore, member of a white power street gang as well as the World Church of the Creator, guilty of attempted murder for assaults on two people mistaken as members of a anti-racist skinhead group in 1997.

July 9, 2001, California. David Eugene Lampman pleads guilty to stalking an African-American bus driver with a group of Santa Clarita white supremacist skinheads. Under the plea deal, charges of possessing and detonating an explosive device and conspiracy to commit assault were dropped. Prosecutors agreed to drop the charges because Lampman had no prior record and was not the primary instigator in the incidents. He faces up to six months in prison and three years' probation. Lampman's arrest was part of a multi-month investigation into the activities of the Santa Clarita group, whose members committed a large number of bombings, arsons, and burglaries. Several other members, all juveniles, previously entered guilty pleas.

July 9, 2001, California. In Riverside, a judge sentences Lee Ryan Rose and Daniel Fernandez, Jr., to eighteen months in federal prison and three years of supervised release. Rose had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of civil rights conspiracy and one count of interference with housing rights, while Fernandez had pleaded guilty to one civil rights conspiracy charge. They had been arrested for torching vehicles in order to intimidate a black man in June and July 2000. The judge also orders 150 hours of community service for each defendant, restitution to the victim and reimbursement to the city for clean-up costs, and orders the defendants to avoid white supremacist groups and publications.

July 11, 2001, California. Police in Ventura County arrest four Ventura men for allegedly assaulting two people outside a coffee store in Port Hueneme in what is described as a racially motivated hate crime. Arrested are Joshua Brunkhurst, Michael Keaser, James Smiley, and Christopher Wallace. According to police, all four are members of a skinhead gang.

July 25, 2001, California. Lancaster County sheriff's deputies engage in a probation sweep that results in ten arrests, as well as the confiscation of a variety of weapons and white supremacist paraphernalia at one of the residences. At the search of the home of Matthew Gore, an alleged white supremacist gang member sought by police for probation violations, sheriff's deputies find a cache of weapons ranging from homemade swords and knives to a .22 caliber rifle, as well as a baseball bat carved with white supremacist logos. Gore is arrested on a no-bail probation violation warrant, suspicion of possession of a deadly weapon, and being a felon in possession of ammunition.

July 26, 2001, California. A gun battle takes place in an isolated mountain cabin in Butte County between two sheriff's deputies and the cabin's occupant, Richard Gerald Bracklow. The deputies were responding to a call from a neighbor who said that Bracklow had threatened him. What happened at the cabin remains unclear. Police who show up at the cabin forty five minutes later after failing to contact the deputies discover all three individuals dead. Bracklow was described by neighbors as a heavily armed survivalist who often carried weapons in public and dressed in camouflage clothing. Bracklow's father said he had been diagnosed two years earlier as a manic-depressive.

August 3, 2001, Ohio, California. California sovereign citizen activist Ronald Lutz, an advocate of "redemption," an anti-government tactic involving the creation of bogus sight drafts, is convicted in Cleveland on multiple counts of forgery, extortion, retaliation, intimidation, and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Lutz and several Ohio associates attempted to use bogus sight drafts to purchase Cadillacs; following his arrest, Lutz attempted to force the Cadillac dealership as well as a local judge into involuntary bankruptcy.

August 21, 2001, California. Federal and local law enforcement agencies wrap up an 18-month investigation of methamphetamine dealing in southern California with raids against 21 locations. The investigation, "Operation Silent Thunder," involved the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the DEA, as well as the FBI, state and local parole and probation agents, and the Los Angeles Police Department. It produced 293 arrests, closed 16 meth labs, and seized more than $2 million worth of methamphetamine, as well as hundreds of firearms and large amounts of cash. Seventy-two of the nearly 300 arrested were known members or associates of white supremacist groups, according to authorities.

August 24, 2001, California. Two San Diego men are sentenced for their role in a campaign of harassment against synagogues, Jews, and public officials. Michael Brian DaSilva receives a 22 month sentence, while Robert Nichol Morehouse receives 18 months in prison. Their accomplice, Alex Curtis, a prominent figure in the white supremacist movement, was previously sentenced to three years in prison.

August 27, 2001, Ohio, California. California resident and sovereign citizen activist Ronald Lutz receives a 17-year prison sentence in Cleveland for trying to use bogus "sight drafts" to buy Cadillacs and for filing involuntary bankruptcy petitions against the Cadillac dealer and a local judge. Lutz was a vocal proponent of the "redemption" scheme, a tactic popular among anti-government extremists that involves printing fictitious financial instruments called "sight drafts."

August 28, 2001, California. Kelly Rangel of Camarillo receives a nine month sentence on perjury charges for having provided a false alibi for her boyfriend, David Ziesmer, a skinhead gang member charged along with five others for allegedly killing a Ventura teenaged girl in a motel room.

September 4, 2001, California. Federal indictments unsealed in San Francisco charge eight alleged members of the Aryan Brotherhood with a variety of crimes, including charges relating to the 1995 murder of a Sonoma County sheriff's deputy. Robert Scully and Brenda Moore, already sentenced to death and 14 years respectively for their involvement in that murder, face new charges. The indictments claim that Moore and Scully were committing robberies on orders from prisoner Paul Schneider when they killed the deputy and charge Moore with murder and ten other federal crimes. Schneider faces 13 counts, including murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder. The others-James Pendleton, Reuben Pappan, Phillip Fortman, John Harper, Robert Shields, and Mark Glass-are charged with various racketeering, conspiracy, robbery, attempted murder, and drug charges. According to authorities, the investigation that resulted in these indictments predated the highly-publicized attack by two dogs owned by Schneider on a San Francisco woman.

September 7, 2001, California. Benjamin and James Williams, brothers and white supremacists, plead guilty to federal charges relating to arsons of three Sacramento synagogues and an abortion clinic in 1999. They face sentences of 30 and 20 years respectively; they also still face state murder charges in the killings of two gay men, also in 1999.

September 9, 2001, California. Sacramento resident Joseph Ferguson embarks on a brutal shooting spree, killing five people and wounding a police officer before finally taking his own life. Ferguson begins the spree by showing up at an equipment yard and killing two security guards-most of the victims were associated with the security company for which he formerly worked. According to newspaper reports, a police search of Ferguson's residence reveals a number of guns, a wide range of white supremacist literature, and an underground bunker.

September 13, 2001, California. Merced resident Greg Claunch receives a 20-year sentence for a racially motivated knife assault against an African-American man in March. Claunch, a self-admitted member of the white supremacist Nazi Low Riders gang, allegedly told police that he did not like blacks and had committed the stabbing because he had been "disrespected."

September 18, 2001, California. Lancaster County sheriff's deputies arrest three people during a sweep aimed at parolees and probationers who are alleged members of white supremacist gangs. The arrests are for parole violations.

October 3, 2001, California. Frazier Park resident Paul A. Jenkins receives a conviction on state charges of tax evasion. Jenkins and his wife (who herself was convicted of a misdemeanor count of failing to file a tax return) reportedly owed the state more than $11,000 in taxes. Jenkins used tax protest arguments in his trial to suggest that his job activities were not "revenue taxable." He faces up to two years in state prison.

October 3, 2001, California. Alan Thomas Yantis of Temecula pleads guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and a hate crime for his role in a 1999 attack on a black man. He is sentenced to 10 years in prison. Yantis had been charged with attempted murder. Three other defendants in the case still face trial, while three more-Daniel Glen Butler, Gregory Allen McDaniel, and Jason Mac McCully-previously pleaded guilty and received four year sentences. The defendants were members of a racist skinhead group.

October 23, 2001, California. Richard Shane Hampton pleads no contest to battery on a peace officer in connection with the stabbing of a prison guard in July. Hampton, a member of a white supremacist gang who was in the California Youth Authority at the time, reportedly committed the assault with an accomplice because they wanted to go to prison. Hampton receives a nine year sentence for the attack.

November 2, 2001, California. Melissa Doran receives a life sentence for driving a getaway car for her white supremacist boyfriend, James Alan Gamache, while he engaged in a running gun battle with police. She had earlier been convicted on four counts of attempted murder of a police officer. The two were under investigation for receiving stolen weapons when a police officer attempted to pull their car over. Doran drove away while Gamache fired at police. Gamache was a former member of the Nazi Low Riders, a racist prison and street gang.

November 7, 2001, California. A federal judge declares a mistrial in Sacramento in the case of two militia members accused of plotting to blow up propane tanks in order to create civil unrest against the government. Jurors had deadlocked 11-1 in favor of convicting Kevin Patterson and Charles Kiles, although they did convict Patterson on a charge of possessing a destructive device. A third defendant, Donald Rudolph, previously pleaded guilty last January and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. A retrial is later set for April 22, 2002; conviction would carry an automatic sentence of life in prison.

November 21, 2001, California. White supremacists Travis Miskam and Jesse Douglas are convicted by a jury in Riverside on hate crime and assault with a deadly weapon charges, but are acquitted on attempted-murder charges. The two men, admitted members of the Western Hammerskins, a white supremacist skinhead group, attacked a black man at a bonfire near Temecula on St. Patrick's Day, 1999.

November 27, 2001, California, Washington. Christopher Turgeon, head of an apocalyptic, survivalist religious group known as the Gatekeepers, is sentenced to more than 50 years in prison for murder. Turgeon is already serving an 89-year sentence for other crimes, including attempted murder of a police officer. At the sentencing, Turgeon claims that God was angry with the United States for legalizing abortion, allowing homosexuality, and proclaiming equal rights for women. In the past, Turgeon had preached to followers that they should kill gays, abortion doctors, and advocates of women's rights. The group began in Washington before moving to southern California in 1997.

November 29, 2001, California. Two southern California men accused of beating an Orange County resident they thought was Mexican plead no contest to attempted murder, mayhem, and other charges. Ben Pospisil of Lakeside and Jason Phillips of Chula Vista were the main attackers in a group of people who assaulted the victim near the Mexican border in December 2000, shouting "white power" as they did so. However, a judge ruled during the trial that there was insufficient evidence to prove the beating was racially motivated. Two other suspects, Jeremiah Pospisil and Kristopher Gill, still face trial for assault, mayhem, and robbery.

November 30, 2001, California. White supremacist brothers Benjamin Matthew Williams and James Tyler Williams receive lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines for setting fire to three synagogues and an abortion clinic in 1999 in Sacramento. Benjamin Williams is sentenced to 30 years in prison; James is sentenced to 21 years and 3 months. The two also must pay $1 million. They still face trial in April 2002 for the alleged slaying of a gay couple in 1999. November 30, 2001, California, Missouri. Lancaster, California, resident Roland Duke Dean is arrested in Cassville, Missouri. Police called to the scene of a domestic violence incident allegedly found Dean hiding behind a false wall in a secret room full of marijuana plants. Dean, reportedly a member of a California white supremacist gang, is wanted in that state in connection with the alleged rape of a teenage girl in July 2001; he will be extradited back to California.

December 12, 2001, California. Police arrest two members of the extremist Jewish Defense League in Los Angeles, including group leader Irv Rubin, for allegedly plotting bombings against an area synagogue and an Arab-American Congressman. The second JDL member arrested is Earl Krugel; both Rubin and Krugel live in Los Angeles. Irvin, who has claimed to have been arrested more than 40 times, is most known for high-profile confrontations with white supremacists.

December 14, 2001, Oregon, California. A Multnomah County grand jury returns indictments against five skinheads in connection with the beating of an 18-year old woman in November. The charges range from first degree assault to second degree kidnapping. According to reports, she was beaten because she refused to take part in an assault on an anti-racist skinhead. Indicted are Gary Carson Brown, Sheila McKenzie, and James Torkelson of Portland, and Pamela Bailey and Dimitri Tash of Los Angeles.

December 24, 2001, California. Riverside resident Robert Clyde is arrested on charges of making terrorist threats, battery, and a hate crime, following an incident in which Clyde allegedly screamed racial slurs at a black man and then attacked him. Clyde told police that he was a member of the white supremacist American Front skinheads.