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Monday, April 1, 2013

Officials Investigate Prison Gang Links In Texas, Colo. Murders

Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes, second from left, speaks at a news conference, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Kaufman, Texas. (AP/Mike Fuentes)

Kaufman County Sheriff David Byrnes, second from left, speaks at a news conference, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Kaufman, Texas. (AP/Mike Fuentes)

In the past two months, two Texas district attorneys and a Colorado corrections official have been gunned down, and officials are speculating that two racist prison gangs involved in drugs are behind the murders.

This weekend in a Dallas suburb, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife were killed in their home. McLelland was the supervisor for assistant district attorney Mark Hasse, who in January was killed a block from his courthouse. Both men had been prosecuting the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas prison gang, and prior to their deaths the state of Texas had issued a report warning that the Aryan Brotherhood was actively planning to retaliate against law enforcement officials cracking down on their activities.

In Colorado, the former prison inmate suspected in the killing of Colorado corrections chief Tom Clements last month was killed by police 100 miles from Kaufman, Texas. He was a member of a white supremacist prison gang called the 211 Crew.

Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, says it’s not known whether the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas or another prison gang 211 Crew in Colorado are working together. Potok says while they largely operate in prisons in their own states, they are both white supremacist prison gangs with major drug enterprises.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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