After a year-and-a-half federal investigation dubbed Operation Red Swastika, a grand jury in Omaha has indicted five Nebraska men with links to white supremacist gangs on numerous drug and weapons charges.
Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) arrested the men on February 26, 2009, and the federal grand jury handed down the multi-count indictment on March 20.
The five suspects are Jason Hawthorne, 34, Michael Davis, 28, and Kenny Dofner, 26, all of Council Bluffs, and Chad Winters, 28, and Greg Stanek, 46, both of Omaha.
During the undercover investigation, authorities allegedly purchased numerous firearms, including assault rifles, pistols and a Taser, some which were purportedly stolen, as well as over 5,000 rounds of ammunition and narcotics from the men.
The charges against the men include being a felon in possession of a firearm, conspiracy of possession with intent to deliver and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
The suspects allegedly told the undercover agent that they were members of the United Aryan Soldiers white supremacist gang. Some of the members had originally met each other in prison. One of the suspects, Jason Hawthorne, was affiliated with the Creativity Prison Ministries, an offshoot of the white supremacist Creativity Movement.
The investigation began when an undercover ATF agent was introduced to Hawthorne by an informant, who then introduced him to the others. The agent allegedly met with Hawthorne and Davis on numerous occasions to purchase drugs and guns.
Authorities have charged Hawthorne, the alleged ringleader of the group, with 19 counts, Davis with eight counts, and Dofner, Stanek and Winters each with five counts.
Three other Omaha men have also been arrested in connection to the investigation – Bradford Winnie, 54, Jeffrey Welker, 28, and Justin Snelling, 26, the alleged drug supplier – and additional arrests may be forthcoming.
SWAT teams from the Omaha Police Department and the Sarpy County Sheriff's Office assisted the ATF Special Response Team in executing the arrests.