A federal judge in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California, sentenced two high ranking members of the racist prison gang Aryan Brotherhood to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The September 10, 2007, sentencing follows the January 9, 2007, conviction of Robert Lee "Blinky" Griffin, 59, and John William “Youngster” Stinson, 52, on federal racketeering charges stemming from six murders and three attempted assassinations under the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act.
Griffin received a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, which will run consecutively to the remainder of his current prison term for murder. Stinson was sentenced to three consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole.
During Griffin and Stinson's six-week trial, prosecutors argued that the two were involved in six killings between 1982 and 1997- including the murders of three fellow Aryan Brotherhood members, and a man whose son had testified against the gang.
Griffin led the California unit of the Aryan Brotherhood since its formation in 1982 at the state prison in Chino. Stinson rose to power within the gang by aligning himself with Griffin, and was the group's predominant leader by 1994. Both men were already serving time for murder when they joined.
In August 2002, federal authorities indicted 40 Aryan Brotherhood members and associates for racketeering charges, alleging murders, violence, drug trafficking, gambling and extortion committed on behalf of, and in furtherance of, the racist prison gang. The 10-count indictment handed down included allegations of 16 murders, 16 attempted murders, conspiracies to commit murders and solicitation to murder. At this time, 25 defendants have either pleaded guilty or have been convicted by juries.