Federal authorities have now linked 15 murders in California to the Aryan Brotherhood; the most recent indictment involves a notorious gangster who’s already serving a double life sentence

FRESNO — In the most recent twist in an already widespread case against the Aryan Brotherhood, prosecutors have filed latest murder and conspiracy charges against a person who has spent most of his adult life behind bars and is already serving concurrent life sentences in federal and state prisons.

In an organized crime indictment unsealed this week, longtime California inmate John Stinson was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and EDD fraud, joining an inventory of 20 alleged Aryan Brotherhood members and associates accused of a complete of seven murders and multiple murder conspiracies. Combined with a related indictment in federal court in Sacramento, this latest case means federal authorities have linked the prison gang to at the least 14 murders since 2019, including two separate double murders in Southern California and 10 prison stabbings.

For Stinson, this charge is a way of déjà vu. He was convicted in 2007 of conspiring with high-ranking members of the Aryan Brotherhood for 4 murders and a number of other attempted murders, including the infamous murder of Richard Barnes in 1986. Barnes was reportedly killed because his son agreed to testify against the gang.

According to media reports, he has been behind bars since 1981, when he was convicted in Los Angeles County of murdering a Long Beach-area heroin dealer named Alfredo Armijo. As a results of those convictions, Stinson is already serving life sentences in each California and federal prisons.

According to court records, Stinson was transferred from Solano State Prison in Vacaville to the Fresno County Jail due to a federal prison sentence.

Another latest defendant, Andrew “Misfit” Collins, is accused of participating in considered one of the murder plots alongside Stinson. Prosecutors also added a previously uncharged murder count, alleging that gang members Francis Clement and Jason “Beaver” Weaver murdered a person on February 22, 2022. Weaver can also be accused of killing Hugo “Yogi” Pinell, a member of the San Quentin Six, together with Waylon Pitchford in a 2015 stabbing attack at Represa's New Folsom Prison.

The charges come weeks after a Sacramento jury convicted three members of the Aryan Brotherhood of conspiracy to murder and other crimes, including smuggling drugs into prison. Much of the evidence was based on a wiretap of smuggled prison cellphones.

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