Feds reveal prison phone call in which 1488 gang member's murder was planned
As a sprawling kidnapping and murder case linked to the 1488 gang unfolds in federal court, new documents filed against alleged members offer glimpses into the violent, "whites only" operation that's active both inside Alaska's correctional institutions and its communities.
Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Alaska filed a memorandum in support of detention against Filthy Fuhrer Tuesday. The document describes his role as a leader within the 1488 known as "F*** Face," and the person who gave fellow gang members the green light ahead of the kidnapping, assault and murder of 1488 member Michael Staton in 2017.
Fuhrer is one of six people indicted in Staton's death. Two others have already accepted plea agreements.
Tuesday's memo represents a plea to the courts to keep Fuhrer in custody until trial. In order to aid their argument, prosecutors have supplied additional information about his alleged role in the crime.
According to federal court documents, multiple members of the 1488 lured 34-year-old Staton to the home of Craig King, known as "Oakie," in August 2017. Prosecutors say Staton was a member of the 1488s, and King is a member of Hells Angels, a violent motorcycle gang. King believed Staton had stolen items from him, including his Hells Angels vest. King had offered members of the 1488 drugs and money if they brought Staton to him for revenge.
According to the memo against Fuhrer, he was serving a sentence at Spring Creek Correctional Center in Seward at the time for the attempted murder of an Alaska State Trooper. While in custody, he became the leader of the 1488s, sporting the gang's most coveted tattoo, an iron cross superimposed over a swastika. The "patch" could only be worn by those who had gained full membership, typically through acts of violence.
In September 2016, Fuhrer called a 1488 member who was free and the two discussed gang affairs, including members who needed to be disciplined, one of them being Staton, who was known as "Steak Knife."
The call was automatically recorded by the Department of Corrections.
Prosecutors included part of the transcript in Tuesday's document:
MEMBER: But here's one move that is happening, because it – it happened in my family. This mother*****r stole from my family and we're all gonna go - Steak Knife.
FUHRER: Yeah, yeah.
MEMBER: No more. Done.
FUHRER: That's – no – no – no, no, you can't f***ing – there's no "No more. Done."
FUHRER: There's the beatdown.
MEMBER: No, dude. Listen, dude. You need to hear the story. It – it's a personal level.
FUHRER: Okay. I'll hear the story.
MEMBER: Then I'll –...
MEMBER: Dude stole from my f***ing h– family, and h – he has f***ing disrespected everybody in the car, and he's running around and he f***ing ripped off Red and White. They're looking for him. And he's f***ing thrown our s**t out there, viciously. The dude is gone.
Fuhrer then instructed the member how to proceed:
FUHRER: I want you to round everyone up and talk to every one of your brothers and then, you know, we'll talk about this again.
MEMBER: Okay. Well, I have talked to every one of my brothers, and they – and they all know that this dude is not our caliber...
FUHRER: I'm – well, you need to...
MEMBER: ...and he is a mess.
FUHRER: All right. If you believe it's that important – you believe it's that important, talk to them all, and...
MEMBER: I know it is.
FUHRER: And then – and then I'll give you the green light.
Prosecutors noted that "car" is a code word used by 1488 members to refer to the gang, and "Red and Whites" refers to the Hells Angels.
Later in the day, the memo states Fuhrer called the gang member back and told him, "that's a go on old Steak Knife, man." He then reminded the person on the other end of the call, "you gotta run all that by me, anything on that level," adding later, "on very, very weighty decisions, I gotta know."
Almost a year later, prosecutors say members of the 1488 lured Staton from Homer to Wasilla, where they beat him, moved him to King's house for another beating in a room prepped and lined with plastic, then took turns using a hot knife to burn off his 1488 tattoo. Staton was later shot and his body burned.
According to the memo, Staton's remains were found in September 2017, but for more than a year after the discovery, Staton was listed as a missing person on the Department of Public Safety's website, and the gruesome murder was not revealed to the public until last month. According to online court records, Staton's unclaimed remains were disposed of by the state in March 2018.
Shortly after Staton's murder, Fuhrer, whose previous legal name was Timothy Lobdell, appeared in court telephonically to explain why he wanted to legally change his name to Filthy Fuhrer.
"The judge confirmed that Fuhrer was aware that his new name is generally used to mean 'a ruthless leader, and it's associated with the Nazi dictator of Adolf Hitler.' Under oath, Fuhrer affirmed that he wanted to change his name, and explained that doing so symbolized the way that he 'tried to be a leader to anyone who has taken a dark path in life.'"
During Fuhrer's detention hearing on Thursday, a federal judge agreed to keep him incarcerated until trial. Additionally, prosecutor Will Taylor requested Fuhrer be moved to a federal correctional facility in Seattle, where his defense attorney is based.
"From our perspective, given the allegations in this case that he’s the leader of the 1488 gang which is prison based here in Alaska, our request to the court was that she issue an order that he be moved to Seattle pending trial so that he’s not in the same environment that he was when these charges arose," Taylor said.
KTVA has reached out to the Department of Corrections multiple times with specific questions regarding how gang activity inside Alaska's correctional institutions is being addressed.
DOC spokesperson Sarah Gallagher released the following statement by email on March 29:
"Addressing the gang issue within our institutions is a critical piece in promoting the safety and security of both inmates and staff within our facilities. Monitoring gang activity is a coordinated effort between security departments in each institution and outside DOC specialists. These staff members gather information, monitor behaviors and activities, and identify potential threats, while trying to minimize risk. DOC also shares intelligence with other agencies to monitor these individuals after release."
Gallagher said Thursday the department was looking into a request for further information.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include comment from the Department of Corrections as well as the judge's decision to keep Fuhrer detained and the prosecution's request for relocation to a federal facility in Seattle.
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