Supremacist Inmate Sentenced to Time Served

Supremacist Inmate Sentenced to Time Served

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Inmate Jason Michael Bates, just completing a state prison sentence for blinding a fellow Weber County jail inmate in one eye in 2001, has been sentenced on a racketeering charge to time served.

Bates, one of a dozen alleged members of the white supremacist Soldiers of the Aryan Culture indicted in 2003 under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart.

Bates told the judge he appreciates the sentence and plans to move to Indiana to be near family.

Bates, 28, was accused of stabbing the jail prisoner in the left eye with a sharpened toothbrush as a way to assert the power of the Aryan gang.

Authorities allege that SAC, which formed in 1997, operated a methamphetamine ring inside and outside Utah prisons and its members carried out violent crimes to maintain control of the criminal enterprise.

Many of the defendants indicted in 2003 already were serving prison terms for state convictions in the attacks. Most of them struck plea deals, and charges were dropped against two.

Bates' case was the to be resolve his case.

During a court appearance in November 2004, some of the defendants got into a brawl with officers when U.S. Magistrate Samuel Alba told them that their family visits and phone calls were being cut off because of threats against prosecutors.

One, Lance Vanderstappen, was sentenced to an additional 20 years for stabbing a fellow prisoner last July while in a holding cell just after being sentenced to a five-year prison term for racketeering.

In August, charges were dropped against Michael Main, 38, and Dennis Judd, 31, after federal prosecutors said there was insufficient credible evidence.

Tracy David Swena, 29, a purported leader in the organization, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and Mark Isaac Snarr, 30, a SAC lieutenant, was sentenced to 15 1/2 years.

Swena's brother Steve Mack Swena, 28, who allegedly ordered other SAC members to attack a state prison inmate, was sentenced to 12 1/2 years.

Lee Ervin Heyen, 31, who carried out a 2000 home invasion and struck the occupant with a baseball bat, was sentenced to four years.

Andrew Perry Beck, 26, and David Fink, 28, were each sentenced to 3 1/2 years, and John Arthur McGee, 43, was sentenced to three years. Jeff Schirado, 29, was sentenced to time served.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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