The man now the focus of the probe into the high-profile murder of prisons chief Tom Clements is a member of the 211 Crew, officials say.
Evan Ebel, 28, is not the first member of the white-supremacist prison gang to make headlines. The 211 Crew has been at the center of multiple high-profile crimes in Colorado.
The gang takes its name from California’s penal code for robbery.
One of Denver’s most notorious racially motivated murders took place Nov. 18, 1997 and involved a 211 Crew member.
Jeremiah Barnum, 38, was an accessory to the killing of African immigrant Oumar Dia, who was shot while waiting for a downtown bus.
The night of Dia’s murder, Barnum was hanging out with friend and co-worker Nathan Thill, a self-described neo-Nazi.
After racial slurs were said to Dia, Thill opened fire. Thill also wounded and paralyzed Jeannie VanVelkinburgh, a good Samaritan who came to Dia’s aid.
Thill is serving life without parole.
Barnum was shot to death by Englewood police during a confrontation in February 2012.
Unlike other gangs, 211 Crew members are recruited in prison, and, once released, are responsible for making money for the gang, according to stories previously published in The Post.
Failure to make sufficient money is met with deadly consequences, authorities told The Post for those stories.
Money made — mostly through drugs and weapons trafficking — is funneled back to 211 Crew members in prison and used to assist other members on the outside.
In 2005, Jim Welton, commander of the Safe Streets Metro Gang Task Force, said the 211 Crew was different from any other prison- based gang he’d seen in his entire law enforcement career.
Once a gang member joins, death is the only way out, Welton said at the time.
“The expectation of this gang was clearly once you affiliated with this organization you would remain affiliated, and our information clearly indicated that breaking from them could result in retaliatory violence,” Welton said.
The gang’s roots allegedly come from the Arkansas Correctional Facility in Crowley County, when in the early 1990s a black inmate beat a white inmate, according to authorities quoted by The Post.
Following that incident, inmate Benjamin Davis vowed he would not let that happen again, intending his gang to be for white inmate protection.
Davis, of Irish descent, often etched 211 in shamrocks on tattoos and correspondence, officials told The Post.
In 2007, Davis was sentenced to 108 years in prison after being convicted that year of racketeering, assault, conspiracy and solicitation to commit assault. Davis was sentenced to 96 years for violating Colorado’s Organized Crime Control Act and an additional 12 years in prison for conspiracy and solicitation to commit second-degree assault.
Other high profile crimes involving members include 211 Crew leader Danny Shea, who in 2008 was given a 112-year sentence for a criminal conspiracy that included distribution of drugs, assault and witness tampering.
William Varney, was indicted among others in 2006 in relation to a check-guarantee and debt-collection business accused of turning over financial records of thousands of people to a neo-Nazi gang that authorities say engaged in identity theft and other illegal activity.