DENVER - About ten percent of inmates in Colorado prisons are active members of a gang, according to data provided to The CALL7 Investigators by the Department of Corrections.
That percentage translates to 2,075 prisoners, according to DOC spokeswoman Sue Cobb. She said another 4,000 prisoners are identified as "wannabes," or inmates not affiliated with a gang the DOC recognizes.
Cobb also clarified that 25 of the identified Security Threat Groups, which is how the DOC refers to gangs, are considered "high impact."
In a briefing last week, the DOC revealed there was no rule against inmates joining the gangs.
The information about gang management is released in light of the investigation into Evan Ebel, a member of the white supremacist prison gang "211 Crew," suspected of shooting to death Colorado Department of Corrections Executive Director Tom Clements and part-time pizza deliveryman Nate Leon. Ebel was later killed in a shootout with Texas lawmen after a 100 mph car chase and crash.
DOC and El Paso County sheriff's investigators have been investigating whether the Clements' killing was an organized hit by the 211 Crew in retaliation for his effort to counter the influence of prison gangs.
Authorities have recently arrested two alleged 211 Crew members, Thomas Guolee, 31, and James Lohr, 37, on unrelated charges. Investigators want to talk to the men because they were in contact with Ebel just before and after Clements was killed, sources tell 7NEWS.
Although the DOC said there was no rule against prisoners joining a gang, it is a violation for them to be caught with a constitution or other organizing documents.
One example of topics found in hand written gang bi-laws the DOC confiscated included: "Silence and Secrecy," "Drugs," "Respect," "Breaking & Entering," "Rape," "Hygiene," "Sportsmanship," "Commitable (sic) Diseases," "Breaking & Entering," "Gambling," "Education," "Dues," and "Exercise."
The DOC intelligence team identifies, tracks and monitors gangs, according to Capt. Roseanna Jordan. They also share information and training with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Colorado Intelligence Analysis Center.