President Joe Biden has long decried the disproportionate terror threat he claims is posed by white supremacists in the United States.
This week, his Justice Department apparently put that policy into action with the indictment of 16 alleged members of a white supremacist prison gang based in Florida.
“Murder, violence, kidnapping, robbery”
According to reports, the men are accused of being members of the violent gang, known as Unforgiven, and are facing criminal charges including assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.
A press release from the Department of Justice asserted that the gang has been “engaged in acts of murder, violence, kidnapping, robbery, obstruction of justice, and other offenses.”
Furthermore, its members allegedly used “corrupt law enforcement officers and state employees” to smuggle contraband into its members as well as gather sensitive information about individuals facing criminal prosecution.
Authorities say Unforgiven was formed in response to the perceived victimization of white inmates and its members would respond with violence to those who disrespected the gang.
In a 12-count racketeering indictment against the 16 members, they are accused of committing violent crimes to join the gang or increase their status within it.
Defendants include ‘Shrek,’ ‘Scumbag’
The victims of these acts allegedly included primarily members of the rival gang United Aryan Brotherhood, as well as those they considered “race traitors.”
Charges against the defendants, several of whom are known by nicknames such as “Shrek” and “Scumbag,” came after the gang was targeted by the Justice Department’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, which investigate high-level criminal organizations.
One of the defendants, David Howell, is accused of assaulting protesters at a Black Lives Matter protest last June.
A former member of the gang reportedly pleaded guilty on Monday to charges stemming from his participating in the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill. He had been held in prison since January and was released two days after his guilty plea with credit for time served for the misdemeanor charge.
The sweeping arrests coincide with the Biden administration’s effort to convince the American people that white supremacy poses an existential threat to the nation. Meanwhile, some GOP lawmakers allege that suspects in the Jan. 6 riot face stricter penalties than rioters and looters involved in widespread protests last year.