Greschner joined the Aryan Brotherhood AB in about13 years after white prisoners formed the gang in the recently desegregated San Quentin State Prison in California. When he joined, Greschner said, there were 50 to 60 members and associates of the AB. On the streets, the AB is involved in practically any profitable criminal enterprise, including murder-for-hire, armed robbery, gun running, methamphetamine manufacturing, counterfeiting and identity theft.
Along with vetting prospective members and voting on leadership decisions, including targeted killings, Greschner by his own account personally instituted a banking and collections system for the gang and developed complex written codes for communicating between prisons and with members and associates in the free world. Now 60 years old, Greschner is serving a double life sentence for murder and conspiracy to commit murder resulting from the killing of a fellow inmate at the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan.
Greschner said the man was killed because he refused to pay a large gambling debt owed the AB. Greschner used to put names in the hat. Currently held in federal protective custody at a prison in the western U. As a condition of the interview, the Report agreed to withhold the name of the prison to protect Greschner. With neatly trimmed grey hair, a beard to match, and blue eyes that rarely blink, Greschner slouched casually in his chair, a hooked toothpick strung with dental floss clenched between his teeth.
Before he joined the AB, he did stick-ups with black partners, Native American partners, no problem. His cellmate these days is black. They get along fine, even though Greschner has a swastika tattoo, which he insisted is the Sanskrit version, not the Nazi kind. Despite the swastika tattoos widely popular with its members, the vast majority of whom are neither Buddhists nor claim to be, the Aryan Brotherhood as it exists today is not a hate group in the traditional sense.
Although widely idealized by racist skinheads and other hard-core white supremacists, the AB in reality is far more about gaining power and reaping profit than promoting white racial unity or furthering any kind of white power revolutionary cause. However, many AB members do practice a racist variant of the neo-pagan religion Asatru, the faith of Viking raiders of old. They all want to be us. And through pulling him, we run his entire group out there, and usually that group has other affiliations, so we run them now. Takeovers, but not even hostile takeovers, because all the skinheads, all these white gangster crews, they all want to be down with us anyhow.
For Greschner, joining the AB was a natural progression in a life of crime that began when he was still just a boy growing up in Minnesota. Greschner at the time was also charged with the attempted murder of a police officer he shot during a gun battle the previous year, following his escape from a state prison in Minnesota. At a federal prisoner transfer facility in Terre Haute, Ind.
Heavily muscled with long blond hair, Mills had a bad eye from a knife fight with Mexican inmates in San Quentin and anAryan Brotherhood tattoo on one arm that he burned off years later. You take care of your business. But Mills described his vision for transforming the AB into a powerful crime syndicate. I was down. It was a pivotal time in the history of the Aryan Brotherhood. Prior to , the gang operated solely within the California state prison system. But as Mills and other AB higher ups had entered the federal prison system in recent years they had come to see the federal system as fertile ground.
And vice-versa. In short order, the AB began taking over existing drug and gambling operations run by white inmates throughout the federal prison system, Greschner said. The leaders of these rings were offered a stark choice: join the federal AB and start taking orders — and kicking back money to the commissioners — or die. Any joint. Because the leaders of the other crews in there know that one brother has the entire Brand [AB] behind him. As federal AB members were paroled or served their full sentences and were released, the gang began setting up crime groups on the streets.
The motorcycle shops, Greschner said, also served as sources for cyanide, which the AB put to several uses. By the mids, Greschner said, the federal AB had ongoing criminal operations established in major cities across the country. AB switchboards communicated with each other and relayed messages between the streets and the prisons using a complex system of codes that Greschner said he devised.
Every switchboard had its own code and decryption key, which rotated often, Greschner said. In , AB members there stabbed to death two corrections officers on the same day. Gotti first hired the AB to protect him in the prison, and then began to set up deals between his crews and theirs on the streets. Dealing with Gotti, though, had a major unintended consequence, according to Greschner. Federal authorities had transferred them to the Supermax prison in hopes of disrupting AB operations by preventing them from communicating between themselves or issuing orders to the outside world.
Still, they found ways. Meanwhile, his relationship with Mills continued to fray. Also, Greschner later testified, Mills began pressuring him to design package bombs to be mailed to federal prosecutors, despite his protests that such a bombing campaign would cause too much collateral damage and bring too much heat.
That October, he severed ties with the gang forever, and guaranteed his own death warrant, by testifying against a highranking member of the AB in a federal drug trafficking case. Three years later, in , 29 leaders of the federal AB were rounded up from prisons all over the country and charged with violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations RICO Act, including conspiracy to commit murder, which carries the death penalty. Greschner was not among the RICO defendants.
Officials said they could see no other way of preventing imprisoned AB leaders, even if held in segregation, from continuing to run the gang.
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The tactic failed when juries returned convictions but no death penalties. Mills and Bingham, for example, were sentenced to life without parole and returned to the ADX in Colorado, where they were already serving life with no possibility of parole.senjouin-kikishiro.com/images/dazegogam/3327.php
Today, Greschner spends his days in a prison yard, meditating and practicing Kundalini yoga. He says he harbors no ill will for the Brand, though his hatred for Mills is palpable. When asked if he minds spending the rest of his natural life behind bars, he shrugs and shakes his head.
I can close my eyes and go anywhere I want.
Leaving the Aryan Brotherhood can be a dangerous business. One former leader explains why he nevertheless quit the prison gang. While that is not literally true in all cases, the AB is famous for the deadly way it settles scores. The Report started by asking Greschner how AB leaders decide if a member should die. That shit is carved in stone on the face of a mountain. These hits are not authorized, and anyone who carries them out will pay with his life.
The killer rang the doorbell. He was a husband and father of two, who spent his career in public service overseeing prisons and advocating for their reform in Missouri, and since , Colorado. No motive. No suspect. What they did have was a devastated widow and a vague description of what might have been the getaway car. It was about 11 a.
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His protective vest saved him. Then the Caddy took off, flying down the Texas highway at drag race speed. Soon a passel of squad cars was in pursuit, pushing close to mph. The driver stuck his gun out the window and squeezed off several shots before crashing into a gravel-hauling wheeler. The Deville spun out and ended up on the side of the highway, a mangled mess. He reportedly fired off more than a dozen rounds. The deputies returned fire, striking the driver in the head.
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Although mortally wounded, the man lingered a few hours on life support. The questions continued to pile up. The man had no identification on him, but was later identified through fingerprints as Evan Spencer Ebel, 28, a Crew gang member who had been paroled from a Colorado prison after eight years about two months before Clements was killed. As it turns out, Ebel, the son of a Denver-area lawyer, should not have been free.
According to media reports, he was paroled four years early, thanks to a mistake in his Colorado prison records.
Ebel is also a suspect in the murder of a pizza deliveryman, Nathan Leon, 27, the hardworking father of three young girls, two days before Clements was gunned down. Two weeks or so after the shootout in Texas, police in Colorado picked up two ex-cons who belonged to the Crew for questioning. Authorities said the men had been in contact with Ebel since his release.
Before being taken into custody, one of the men, James Lohr, 47, reportedly led police on a brief car and foot chase in the early morning hours of April 5.
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The authorities said he also tried to ditch a gun during the chase, but it was eventually recovered and its history is being traced. Neither, Lohr, nor the second man picked up for questioning, Thomas James Guolee, 31, has been charged with Clements murder. The Crew was started in a Colorado county lockup in , as a kind of jailhouse protective society for white inmates. In its early days, white power and chauvinism were its main recruiting tools.