2 charged in Alaska in connection to white supremacist gang
(AP) - Two people in Alaska have been charged in connection with violent crimes tied to a prison-based white supremacist gang, federal prosecutors said.
Justin Eaton, 45, of Anchorage and Felicia King, 55, of Wasilla were added to an existing indictment for what prosecutors said was a wide-ranging racketeering enterprise born out of an allegiance to the gang named 1488, The Anchorage Daily News reported.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska said Wednesday King was charged with accessory after the fact in connection with the beating, kidnapping and killing of gang member Michael Staton, 32, in August 2017.
Eaton 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.
The federal online court records system did not list an attorney for King. Eaton’s attorney, Seattle-based Peter Camiel, said in an email to The Associated Press that he was new to the case and unable to comment at this time.
Several defendants in the original indictment faced multiple racketeering-related charges, including murder, kidnapping and assault, tied to Staton’s killing.
Alaska U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder said in a statement Wednesday that an investigation started in late 2017 and has resulted in 14 additional federal indictments related to the gang.
The 1488 gang began in 2010 among 50 to 100 prisoners serving time in Alaska facilities or shipped out-of-state to serve sentences in Arizona or Colorado. Once members are paroled from prison, officials have said they are told to report to leaders in what they call “Free Alaska.”
The group operated mainly out of the maximum-security Spring Creek Correctional Center and has expanded elsewhere in the country, investigators said.
Potential members are required to serve a prison sentence before joining. The group adheres to rules outlining a structural order and members gain rank by committing crimes, prosecutors said.
Members identify themselves with Nazi symbols and must commit violence for the gang to earn membership tattoos.
Gang members or associates have been charged or sentenced for offenses including being a felon in possession of a firearm, mail theft, and distributing drugs or firearms.
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