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'Skinheads' arrested in Inland Empire

April 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Seven members of an alleged white supremacist "skinhead" gang were arrested in the Inland Empire on Monday.San Bernardino County Sheriff Rod Hoops said the gang has been operating in the Inland Empire since 2002, and there are more than 30 documented members.

The sheriff said those arrested are facing a variety of charges, including "the acts of murder, attempted murder, home invasion robbery, various assaults, conspiracy to commit murder, narcotics trafficking and witness intimidation."

Gang paraphernalia was confiscated, including white supremacist banners, weapons, and money. Five of those arrested live in Hesperia, one in Perris, and another in the Riverside County community of Winchester.

Investigators say there are at least eight victims, and they were targeted because of their ethnic background or nationality. Few details on the crimes were released, but investigators said one of the victims was a Jewish man. They added that the skinhead group was promoting its message of hate, by seeking to recruit new members at local high schools, inviting students to concerts or barbecues.

The group allegedly had ties to other "skinhead" organizations in the U.S., and an investigation has been under way for the past year.

The sheriff said, "We have lots of gang activity, of course. But the thing that's disheartening and most alarming about this type of gang is that their only purpose is racial violence and acts of violence against other folks."

The sheriff also said that two women affiliated with the gang who were pregnant, had been considering inducing labor on Monday (April 20th) because it is Adolph Hitler's birthday.


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