White supremacist gang members convicted of murder, kidnapping in Alaska

The U.S. Department of Justice reported that a federal jury has convicted four members and an...
The U.S. Department of Justice reported that a federal jury has convicted four members and an associate of the violent white supremacist gang the 1488s for the 2017 murder of Michael Staton in Alaska, and several other charges.(USAF / Joshua Magbanua)
Published: May. 2, 2022 at 2:24 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The U.S. Department of Justice reported that a federal jury has convicted four members and an associate of the violent white supremacist gang the 1488s for the 2017 murder of Michael Staton in Alaska, and several other charges.

The Department of Justice wrote in a press release that the convictions stem from Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) charges brought against the five men who — according to evidence presented during the trial — kidnapped two people in 2017 and murdered Staton. The Department of Justice described the 1488s as “a violent prison-based gang operating inside and outside of state prisons throughout Alaska.”

Those convicted were 45-year-old Filthy Fuhrer (who legally changed his name from Timothy Lobdell), 43-year-old Roy Naughton, 40-year-old Glen Baldwin, and 29-year-old Colter O’Dell, who were all members of the 1488s. Also convicted was Hells Angels Motorcycle Club member Craig King, 56. All face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole for the murder.

The Department of Justice wrote in the press release that O’Dell received his membership patch — a tattoo of an iron cross over a swastika — for his role in Staton’s murder.

“Violent gangs, especially those based upon racial hatred, are a plague to our society. As this case demonstrates, the crimes of organized prison gangs often go beyond the prison walls bringing violence into our communities,” U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker for the District of Alaska said in the press release. “Today’s convictions are a major disruption to the operation of the 1488 prison gang and hold accountable those who order or commit brutal and heinous crimes. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify, investigate and prosecute violent gang crimes regardless of where they take place. There is no higher priority than keeping our communities and the citizens of Alaska safe.”

Baldwin, O’Dell and King were all convicted of racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy in aid of racketeering, murder in aid of racketeering, kidnapping resulting in death and kidnapping conspiracy. Naughton and Fuhrer were also convicted of those same five crimes, as well as two additional counts of kidnapping conspiracy, two counts of kidnapping, and two counts of assault in aid of racketeering.

“The guilty verdicts today strike a significant blow to the highest levels of the 1488 gang,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. in the press release. “The Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners remain committed to combating and dismantling violent white supremacist gangs.”

The Justice Department wrote that the gang has written rules, a code of conduct, and a creed which states that “the only currency we recognize is violence and unquestionable loyalty.”

The release lists Fuhrer as the founder of the 1488s, and says that he led the white supremacist gang from inside of Alaska’s only maximum security prison at Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward, where he is serving a 19-year sentence for the attempted murder of an Alaska State Trooper.

The release states that Fuhrer became displeased with gang members outside of prisons in the “free world” and directed another member to kidnap and assault two low-level gang members. Evidence presented during the trial said that the kidnapping and assault occurred on April 2, 2017 and July 20, 2017.

“The inhumanity shown by members of the 1488 criminal enterprise, to include the kidnapping, torture, and murder of Michael Staton, is a gruesome example of why we must identify and dismantle violent criminal organizations,” Special Agent in Charge Antony Jung of the FBI Anchorage Field Office said in the press release. “The morally despicable extremist prison gang has been seriously undermined thanks to the robust and effective, coordinated law enforcement and prosecution efforts shown throughout this case. These convictions will certainly make our community a safer place.”

The release says that evidence presented during the trial showed that Baldwin, O’Dell and King kidnapped Staton after he stole from both King and the 1488s, put him in a room lined with plastic, beat and tortured him before Baldwin and O’Dell shot Staton in the woods and burned his body.

“Today’s verdict demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to investigating and dismantling violent gangs, regardless of where they are being operated and who is leading them,” said FBI Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the Criminal Investigative Division in the release. “In collaboration with our federal, state, local and international partners, we will aggressively target and pursue violent offenders. This verdict sends a clear signal to others who engage in gang violence that we will hold them accountable and bring them to justice.”

Prosecutors said in 2019 that the gang had between 50-100 members. Beau Cook was also charged, and Dustin Clowers and Nicholas Kozzorra both pleaded guilty in 2018.

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