Sixteen members of a Florida-based white supremacist gang called Unforgiven have been charged in a 12-count racketeering indictment accusing them of crimes including kidnapping, murder, assault, and other crimes.
The Department of Justice announced on Thursday, July 15, that these men — who went by names such as Shrek, Pretty Boy, and Scumbag — used “corrupt law enforcement officers and state employees” to gather information and smuggle contraband to inmates.
As part of being a member of “Unforgiven,” individuals were required to study “Aryan philosophy” and perform extreme acts of violence in order to gain membership,” NBC News reported. In addition, tattoos, such as swastikas, iron crosses, and SS bolts were also required. Court documents obtained by the news outlet stated that it was also demanded that participants pay dues and attend regular meetings known as “Church.” The indictment also noted that the group holds and expands its power through “recruitment, indoctrination of white supremacist ideology, pursuit of business and political leadership, intimidation, and threats and acts of violence.”
The Anti-Defamation League described the organization as a white supremacist prison gang. The group was said to have been created in part to rebel against a “perceived constant and almost brutal victimization of whites” in the Florida prison system.
Three of the members, who go by the names George “Shrek” Andrews, Joshua “Chain Gang” Wilson, and Brandon “Scumbag” Welch, face up to 30 years in prison if convicted. Among incidents mentioned features one that occurred in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. During the protests in the weeks following, Unforgiven member David Howell assaulted participants partaking in the Peace Walk for Black Lives on June 5, 2020, in Brooksville, Florida, the indictment also revealed. At the time, the Loxahatchee, Florida, native was arrested by Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies on charges of improper exhibition of a dangerous weapon and resisting an officer without violence, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Howell allegedly had a machete hidden underneath his shirt and lifted his shirt, showing protesters his weapon.
U.S Attorney’s Office Spokeswoman Amy Filjones said four of the men were in state custody and 11 in federal custody Thursday. Meanwhile, one man was still on the loose: 42-year-old Joshua Hall, also known as K9, of Wildwood, Florida. The men in custody are facing various sentences if found guilty, including up to 20 years in prison.