White supremacists kept hit list, police say

Officials say document was found in raid against Southern California gang; authorities say prosecutor, officers were targeted

SANTA ANA – A white supremacist gang targeted this week in a sweeping raid allegedly kept a hit list of law enforcement members, including an Orange County gang prosecutor and five police officers from several city departments, officials said.

The raid Thursday against the gang involved about 300 officers who served search warrants at 75 locations throughout Orange County, said Sgt. Rick Martinez of the Anaheim police. The sting resulted in 57 arrests and the seizure of several guns and a small amount of drugs.

City and county police began to plan the operation last month when an unidentified Orange County police department learned that one of its officers had been targeted by the gang, said police Lt. K. Switzer. The group, which is involved in identity theft, credit card fraud and methamphetamine sales, has ties to the Aryan Brotherhood and the Nazi Low Riders prison gangs, Switzer said.

He said investigators were trying to determine why the officers and the prosecutor were targeted and if it was a gang edict or the work of a single gang member. Switzer refused to release the names of the targeted individuals or the departments for which they worked.

“It’s not uncommon to hear that gangs are upset with the law enforcement community but to hear specific names of officers who are threatened is unique,” Switzer said. “That crosses the line and gets our attention.”

Ten arrests were made before Thursday’s sweep and more arrests are expected, he said.

The California Department of Justice said in a 2004 report that the gang engages in attacks on police officers and is “one of the most powerful and fastest-growing gangs inside and outside prison.” It has about 200 members statewide, the report said.

The gang started in Long Beach in the 1980s, and its membership grew rapidly, particularly in Huntington Beach and southern Orange County, according to the Anti-Defamation League, which tracks racist groups. The league said the gang leads a coalition of white supremacist groups called the Southern California Skinhead Alliance.

This isn’t the gang’s first run-in with authorities in Southern California.

In March, investigators arrested 23 of the gang’s members and associates and recovered 12 guns while serving search warrants in 16 Orange County cities after a threat to a sheriff’s deputy who was investigating the group.

In 2004, police stopped an entourage of members in Riverside County. Inside the bed of a pickup truck, officers found the corpse of Cory Christian Lamons wrapped in plastic and a blanket and hidden beneath firewood.

Prosecutors say Lamons was beaten to death with a claw hammer for stealing money from the former girlfriend of a gang member. Seven people pleaded guilty to charges connected to the death, and two others await trial.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday December 19, 2006.
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