After a parolee from the gang called 211 Crew killed Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements in 2013, officials began banishing leaders of the white supremacist gang to prisons across the U.S. through an inmate-swapping system in which high-risk prisoners are traded from one state to the next, the Denver Post reports. That diaspora of shot callers — those who can order gang murders — is why Benjamin Davis was at the Wyoming State Penitentiary when he killed himself last month. Davis was a founder and leader of the 211 Crew and was suspected of ordering Clements’ assassination. Clements’ successor, Rick Raemisch, has moved 211 Crew “inner circle” members with a rank of general — all with a vote when it comes time to order hits and beatings — outside Colorado’s prison system to state or federal prisons in Wyoming, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Kentucky, Colorado and Ohio.
“The Interstate Compact agreement is one of the most influential tools available to us in corrections. It allows the Colorado Department of Corrections and corrections departments across the United States to ensure the safety of their staff, safety of their offender population, and maintain safety and security in their facilities” Raemisch told the Post. Raemisch and other officials declined to discuss the whereabouts of the 211 Crew leaders. Experts on prison gang culture say inmate swapping through the Interstate Corrections Compact can be effective in disrupting communications between gang leaders and their soldiers and enforcers. It can also spread gang ideology, particularly for a gang such as 211 Crew, which has name recognition across the country. Charismatic gang leaders spread their racist dogma and internal gang leadership strategies to other prison systems. “When you move them, they are going to re-create themselves like seeds in another state,” said Damarcus Woods, of D. Woods Consultants, a gang expert. “What makes this gang so popular was the murder of Tom Clements.” Their leaders have instant name recognition and respect with convicts wherever they go, he said.