Neo-Nazi prison gang head Filthy Fuhrer convicted of murder, kidnapping

Filthy Fuhrer, formerly known as Timothy Lobdell, is the leader of the Alaskan prison gang the 1488s, whose influence reaches to prisons throughout Alaska and beyond.

A neo Nazi attends a rally in Budapest October 23, 2009. The words, the motto of the S.S., read "my honor is my loyalty" (photo credit: LASZIO BALOGH/REUTERS)
A neo Nazi attends a rally in Budapest October 23, 2009. The words, the motto of the S.S., read "my honor is my loyalty"
(photo credit: LASZIO BALOGH/REUTERS)

The leader of a white supremacist neo-Nazi Alaskan prison gang known as Filthy Fuhrer was convicted on Monday of charges ranging from racketeering, kidnapping, RICO conspiracy and murder alongside several other members of the gang, the US Justice Department announced.

Filthy Fuhrer, formerly known as Timothy Lobdell, 45, is an inmate at Alaska's maximum-security prison, Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward, and is serving a 19-year sentence for attempting to kill an Alaskan State Trooper. However, from within the walls of the prison, Filthy Fuhrer formed the prison gang known as the 1488s. This gang was shown in the evidence presented at the trial to use Nazi symbols to mark themselves as members of the gang, with the main tattoo used as a symbol is a swastika with an Iron Cross superimposed over it, though that one can only be worn by "made" members, who are all people that have committed violence for the gang.

Even the name 1488 is derived from neo-Nazi ideology. According to the Anti-Defamation League, 88 is often used as a reference to Heil Hitler while 14 is a reference to the "14 Words" slogan:  "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." As such, the number 1488 frequently appears in connection with white supremacy. 

The 1488s possess an organized system and are able to make money through a number of avenues such as drug sales, firearms trafficking, kidnappings, witness intimidation and more, as noted in the Anchorage Daily News. The members are bound together by a code of written rules and conduct, including the phrase “the only currency we recognize is violence and unquestionable loyalty.” 

This gang was able to spread its influence to prisons throughout Alaska and beyond, with several other members outside the prison, which was referred to as the "free world" by the gang, committing violent kidnappings and assaults.

  A plaque on top of a flagpole with the number 1488 is carried by members of the National Socialist Movement as they attend a rally at the state capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas, US, November 10, 2018.  (credit: JIM URQUHART/REUTERS) A plaque on top of a flagpole with the number 1488 is carried by members of the National Socialist Movement as they attend a rally at the state capitol in Little Rock, Arkansas, US, November 10, 2018. (credit: JIM URQUHART/REUTERS)

But evidently, some cracks showed, as Filthy Fuhrer believed some members were defying to code. To fix this, in 2017, he ordered the kidnapping and assault of two members and the kidnapping, assault and murder of a third one.

However, according to Assistant US Attorney William Taylor, the goal behind these kidnappings was to “strengthen their organization by getting rid of weaker members and by disciplining members that had made the 1488s look bad to other organizations,” according to the Anchorage Daily News.

The evidence presented at the trial supported these allegations and led to the members being convicted. All five members now face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole. However, at least one of the now-convicted gang members plans to appeal, his attorney said, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

“The inhumanity shown by members of the 1488 criminal enterprise, to include the kidnapping, torture, and murder of Michael Staton, is a gruesome example of why we must identify and dismantle violent criminal organizations,” Special Agent in Charge Antony Jung of the FBI Anchorage Field Office said in a Justice Department statement. 

“The morally despicable extremist prison gang has been seriously undermined thanks to the robust and effective, coordinated law enforcement and prosecution efforts shown throughout this case. These convictions will certainly make our community a safer place.”

“Violent gangs, especially those based upon racial hatred, are a plague to our society,” said US Attorney S. Lane Tucker for the District of Alaska. 

“As this case demonstrates, the crimes of organized prison gangs often go beyond the prison walls bringing violence into our communities. Today’s convictions are a major disruption to the operation of the 1488 prison gang and hold accountable those who order or commit brutal and heinous crimes. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify, investigate and prosecute violent gang crimes regardless of where they take place. There is no higher priority than keeping our communities and the citizens of Alaska safe.”