DENVER (CBS4)– The man at the center of a murder investigation of two victims in Colorado and a high-speed chase and shootout in Texas is a confirmed member of a white supremacist prison gang.
Ebel, 28, is dead after a high-speed chase and shootout with Texas law enforcement. He is also the primary suspect in the murder of Tom Clements, Executive Director of the Colorado Deparment of Corrections and Nathan Leon, a pizza delivery man.
Ebel was a member of the 211 Crew, a prison gang started two decades ago by inmates at the Denver Jail.
“Their power structure is still in the prison system,” said Denver Sheriff Gang Unit spokesman Sgt. Phil Swift.
Gang investigators said the white supremacist group’s influence has grown over the past decade.
“It wasn’t until roughly 2004 that members started getting paroled, started ending up on the street and their gang activity moved from prison to the street,” said Swift.
A 2005 grand jury investigation caught up to two dozen members of the 211 Crew. Five members were arrested for the murder of an inmate at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility.
A second indictment charged members with 64 felonies related to organized crime and solicitation to commit murder.
“Once they were indicted they received press. They wanted to be 211 Crew,” said Swift.
The gang’s founder was then 29-year-old Benjamin Davis. He had been sentenced to more than 100 years in prison. Swift believes he may still be running the gang from behind bars.
Swift said Ebel’s shootout in Texas is in line with other 211 members actions.
Investigators are trying to determine whether Clements slaying is connected to the 211 Crew. Swift believes it is the type of murder the gang would seek out.
“It goes to show ‘This is what we’re capable of. This is what we can do. We can reach anybody’ and any gang that attempts those types of crime that’s exactly what they are saying,” said Swift.