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White Supremacist Gang Members Arrested for Smuggling Heroin Secreted in the Glue Strips of Envelopes into Susanville State Prison
YUBA CITY – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced today the arrests of five members of a white supremacist gang based in Yuba County. The gang members were arrested on charges of smuggling heroin into Susanville State Prison in the glue strips of letters mailed to inmates associated with the “New Order” gang.
Each glue strip contained nearly one gram of heroin, which is worth about $500 inside prison – five times its street value. According to arrest documents, the drug shipments were used as barter or to curry favor with other white supremacist inmates from groups such as the Aryan Nation or Nazi Low Riders.
“Today’s operation demonstrates the criminal ingenuity of inmates and their associates outside of prison walls,” Attorney General Harris said. “This operation successfully attacked the criminal activity at its root. To ensure the safety of our neighborhoods and law enforcement officers, we must be vigilant about combating gang activity wherever it occurs.”
The investigation, named Operation Forseti for the Norse god of justice, resulted in the arrests of five gang members on suspicion of engaging in a conspiracy to distribute heroin in a prison, and five other gang associates on a variety of charges. Two weapons, three grams of heroin, and approximately one-quarter ounce of methamphetamine were confiscated. Investigators served search warrants at seven locations in the Yuba City area.
Operation Forseti was a joint investigation by the California Department of Justice, California Highway Patrol, Yuba City Police, Yuba County Sheriff, Marysville Police, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Special Services Unit, and the Yuba/Sutter Gang Task Force.
The investigation was launched in November 2010 after a Susanville prison guard noticed a suspicious envelope sent to inmate Robin Conley Briggs, a member of the New Order gang. Analysis of the envelope’s glue strip at a state Department of Justice laboratory confirmed that it was laced with heroin.
In late January 2011, investigators intercepted two more envelopes containing heroin sent to Briggs and inmate Scotty William Brendlin, a fellow New Order member. Using surveillance techniques, investigators determined that Briggs and Brendlin had used associates in the Yuba City area to smuggle heroin to them inside the prison.
Investigators suspect many more heroin-laden envelopes may have been shipped into the prison.
The New Order Gang was founded in the Yuba City area 30 years ago. The original gang of 15 members banded together to promote white supremacy. Although gang members spouted racist rhetoric, their primary activity was dealing drugs, especially methamphetamine.
One of the founders was George William Lancaster, considered the godfather of the white supremacist movement in Yuba County. He has served a six-year prison sentence for possessing a controlled substance in custody. His criminal record over 20 years includes arrests for false imprisonment, kidnapping, burglary, car theft and weapons violations. Lancaster was arrested today.
Other New Order gang members arrested today include Robert Harold Boyd of Yuba County, Elissia Danielle Soito of Marysville, Benjamin Leon Andrade of Yuba City, and Mickey Ray Jeffrey of Yuba City. They are being held in the Yuba County Jail.