National secret ‘inmate swap’ program may have spread ‘popular’ neo-Nazi prison gang’s ideology across US
An investigation by the Denver Post reveals that prison officials’ attempts to disperse leaders of the infamous neo-Nazi 211 Crew to other prisons across the country may have created a network of cells outside of the Colorado prison system where they started.
In 2013, after Colorado Department of Corrections Chief Tom Clements was murdered in a hit likely ordered by 211 Crew founder Benjamin Davis, prison officials began secretly “banishing” leaders of the white supremacist prison gang to other penitentiaries, the Post‘s report finds.
Known as the “Interstate Compact agreement,” secret inmate swapping is reportedly a “routine” maneuver aimed at “disrupting communications between gang leaders and their soldiers and enforcers,” the Post report states. But it may have had unintended consequences that resulted in the gang’s violent ideology spreading far outside of the Southwest.
Damarcus Woods, a gang expert who testifies about gang culture during related trials, told the Post that the murder of Clements made the gang well-known, respected and popular in prisons nationwide.
“When you move them they are going to recreate themselves like seeds in another state,” Woods said.
Though James “Jimbo” Lohr, a 211 Crew leader suspected of involvement in the Clements murder plot who was moved to a prison in New Hampshire, claims he is no longer involved with the “day-to-day” operations of the gang, he told the Post the names and locations of multiple crew heavy-hitters.
“Cop killer Vernon Wayne Templeman is now held in West Virginia; convicted killer Raymond Cain is in Pennsylvania; 211 Crew co-founder Danny Shea is in Ohio; and Justin Barkley was first moved to Kentucky, but is now at the federal Administrative Maximum U.S. Penitentiary in Florence, Colorado,” the report reads. Lohr also claimed that the gang currently has about 1,000 active members in and out of prisons across the country.
Lohr, whose multiple-conviction sentence lasts until 2021, went on to say that 211 is “the most respected gang in DOC.”