Home / World News / The white supremacist gang linked to Colorado prison chief’s assassination five years ago continues killing – The Denver Post

The white supremacist gang linked to Colorado prison chief’s assassination five years ago continues killing – The Denver Post

Five years after a parolee killed Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements and Commerce City father of three Nathan Leon, the white supremacist gang that some officials have linked to the deaths continues to grow more powerful and deadly behind bars.

Paroled felon Evan Ebel, left, shot ...

Colorado Department of Corrections photo; Associated Press file; U.S. Attorney’s Office photo

Paroled felon Evan Ebel, left, shot and killed Nathan Leon, right, on March 17, 2013, and then killed Colorado corrections chief Tom Clements, center, two days later.

The gunman, Evan Ebel, died days later in a shootout with Texas lawmen, but the questions remain: Did he act alone? Did he have help from fellow members of the 211 Crew prison gang?

Only one person has faced justice in the case since the March 17, 2013, killing of Leon and the assassination two days later of Clements, the head of the Department of Corrections. That was Stevie Vigil, the woman who pleaded guilty to buying the gun that Ebel used. A federal judge in 2014 sentenced her to 27 months in prison.

El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder, who office oversees the investigation, said in an interview this week that he believes Ebel acted alone when he killed Leon for his Domino’s pizza uniform, and then shot Clements on the doorstep of his home in Monument on the night of March 19, 2013.

Elder said he asked an investigator in 2016 to go over all the evidence for a third time, on the chance that new evidence could be uncovered pointing to possible conspirators. An investigator from Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman’s office also independently reviewed all the evidence over a span of nine months, he said.

“They’ve looked at everything and anything. To date (they) have not turned over any evidence that disproves that Evan Ebel acted alone,” Elder said. “I would love nothing more than to prove a conspiracy to the 211 Crew.” But so far the only things tying the case to others, he said, are suppositions not unlike conspiracy theories in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

Ebel left behind many intriguing clues that point to a conspiracy, including a hit list that mentioned other Colorado officials, and he had contact with fellow members of the 211 Crew in the days before and after the shootings. Ebel called one 211 Crew member on March 21, 2013, just moments before he died in a chase and shootout on a Texas highway, according to Texas investigators.

The perception behind bars is that 211 Crew leaders, including gang general Daniel “Jimbo” Lohr, ordered Ebel to kill Clements, Lohr said in a telephone interview last year from a Pennsylvania federal prison. It doesn’t matter that Lohr denies involvement, or even that Elder believes otherwise — that is the widely held belief, Lohr acknowledged. That perception has increased the respect fellow prisoners have for the gang and helped swell its ranks, he said. But the consequences have been a mixed blessing, he added.

Texas Rangers and key Colorado investigators have said the gang’s leaders ordered Ebel to kill Clements. In fact, a confidential informant whose claims are partially confirmed by phone records claims that Lohr boasted that “I ordered that,” meaning the Clements hit, a report by the Texas Rangers says.

A Texas official familiar with the investigation but not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation recently said all evidence points to a gang conspiracy. Colorado officials who previously led the Clements murder investigation, including John San Agustine, have also said they repeatedly recommended that District Attorney Dan May’s office file charges against co-conspirators including Lohr and other 211 Crew members. Lohr said he was surprised they didn’t charge him.



Prison gang merger

In an effort to diffuse the power base of the 211 Crew, Clements’ successor, executive director Rick Raemisch, moved the gang’s “inner circle” members with a rank of general — all with a vote when it comes time to order hits and beatings — outside Colorado’s prison system to state or federal prisons in Wyoming, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Kentucky, Colorado and Ohio.

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