PRISON GUARD ARRESTED ON RICO CHARGES

----- Original Message -----

From: Lucky Lil

To: Patrick Crusade ; Council List ; Pelican Bay-Group ; Calipatria Group ; Families of Prisoners ; PRUP ; Prison News Stories ; Prison News Network
Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2004 3:55 PM
Subject: [patrickcrusade] FW: CCPOA Guard arrested on RICO charges, Daily Journal Article

Forwarded and comments from a friend.
 

Leave it to the Feds to pick up where our own state government lags behind.

Recall last year's hearing on Senator Brulte's anti-quarterly packages bill, SB 206, when the CDC and CCPOA representatives asserted the influx of drugs into our institutions was through families & quarterly packages (alleging some 32 instances which were soon found to actually be associated with regular and legal mail -- not quarterly packages -- and these representatives could only provide a vague verbal account of the typical drug smuggling through QP's).

Still, CDC proceeded with allowing change-overs to vendor based QP's without any thought as to considering that guards may play a significant role in the influx of drugs into our institutions...


July 30, 2004
CORRECTIONS OFFICER ARRESTED ON FEDERAL RACKETEERING CHARGES

Guard Faces Federal Racketeering Charges

By Liz Valsamis Daily Journal Staff Writer

LOS ANGELES - A Chino prison guard was arrested Thursday on federal racketeering charges for allegedly helping the Nazi Low Riders prison gang distribute drugs and impose violent discipline on other inmates behind bars.

Shayne Allyn Ziska, 43, a correctional officer at California Institute for Men in Chino, was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles.

The Nazi Low Riders is a prison gang with a white supremacist ideology that seeks to control white inmates in California prisons, authorities said.

Ziska, also known as "Z," allegedly allowed gang members to slit the neck of inmate Mark Krueger in August 1999. The following summer, he allegedly allowed gang member Joseph Sulkey, aka "Diamond," to stab inmate Nathan Johnson, aka "Chance," below the eye.

Both men were hospitalized but survived the attacks.

Ziska's lawyer, Ira Salzman, said the correctional officer will plead innocent.

"[My client] is looking forward to clearing his name," Salzman said. "He maintains he's done nothing illegal."

In 1998, Ziska allegedly transported speed for gang member Ricky Seevers, aka "Peckerwood."

Later that year, he took heroin from member Mark Dresden Matthews to member James Prescott, aka "Irish," the indictment alleges. He transported drugs between gang members in the jail on two other occasions, according to the document.

Ziska also allegedly assisted in moving members of the gang from one cell to another, taught them martial arts and taught white inmates about racial ideology, the indictment says.

During his employment, Ziska allegedly got a tattoo on his arm of double lightning bolts, which the indictment refers to as a Nazi tattoo.

The Nazi Low Riders gang began in the 1970s in the California Youth Authority, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Kamenstein, who said the gang includes hundreds of members. The indictment described the gang as one that uses violence and intimidation to maintain control of the white prison populations in California, as well as Nevada and Oregon.

"They largely control the illegal activities of the white prison population throughout the California prison system," said Kamenstein, a prosecutor on the Ziska case.

In February 2002, the U.S. attorney's office charged 12 members and associates of the gang with racketeering. Two of them pleaded guilty, Kamenstein said, including senior member "Michael Bridge, aka 'Snake,'" whom Ziska allegedly helped move around the prison. Five of the 12 are awaiting trial. Kamenstein declined to comment on the status of the last five, one of whom the indictment mentions in relation to the attack on Johnson.

The state Department of Corrections put Ziska on paid administrative leave in 2000, according to Captain T.J. Padilla of the Chino prison. He returned to work eight months ago doing clerical work at a different facility, Padilla said. Ziska has been a correctional officer since January 1984.

The Fontana man is charged with five counts of participating in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations conspiracy, participating in a violent crime in aid of racketeering, and civil rights violations.

"As contained in the allegations of the indictment, defendant Ziska's conduct goes back years" in assisting the gang, Kamenstein said.

"Whatever his motivation was is not something I can comment on," Kamenstein added.

The U.S. attorney's office is asking for no bail for Ziska. Ziska made a brief appearance Thursday in federal court, where his lawyer asked that the arraignment hearing be postponed. The judge scheduled the hearing for Monday, when Ziska intends to plead not guilty, according to Salzman.

Ziska faces 20 years for each of the three racketeering charges and a maximum of 10 years for two counts involving the deprivation of prisoner's rights.

Source: DAILY JOURNAL NEWSWIRE


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