Feds have now linked at least 15 California homicides to Aryan Brotherhood, latest indictment includes notorious gangster already serving double life

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

FRESNO — In the latest twist to an already sprawling prosecution of the Aryan Brotherhood, prosecutors have brought new murder and conspiracy charges against a man who has spent most of his adult life behind bars and is already serving concurrent life sentences in federal and state prison.

In a racketeering indictment unsealed this week, longtime California prisoner John Stinson was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit murder as well as EDD fraud. He joins a total of 20 alleged Aryan Brotherhood members and associates charged with a total of seven homicides and several more murder conspiracies. Together with a related federal prosecution in Sacramento, this news case means that since 2019, federal authorities have tied the prison gang to at least 14 killings, including two separate double homicides in Southern California and 10 prison stabbings.

For Stinson, this prosecution is deja vu all over again. He was convicted in 2007 of conspiring with top-ranking Aryan Brotherhood members to commit four murders and several attempted killings, including the notorious 1986 slaying of Richard Barnes, who was reportedly killed because his son agreed to testify against the gang.

He has been behind prison bars since 1981, when he was convicted in Los Angeles County of murdering a Long Beach-area heroin dealer named Alfredo Armijo, according to media reports. As a result of these convictions, Stinson is already serving life sentences in both California and the federal prison systems.

Back when he was indicted on racketeering charges the first time, Stinson was known as “Youngster” and was in his 40s, court records show. Today, at age 69, his nickname is “Pops,” according to the indictment.

Stinson was moved from Solano State Prison in Vacaville to the Fresno County Jail for a federal detainer, according to court records.

Another new defendant, Andrew “Misfit” Collins, is charged with joining one of the murder plots alongside Stinson. Prosecutors also added a previously uncharged homicide, alleging that gang members Francis Clement and Jason “Beaver” Weaver murdered a person on Feb. 22, 2022. Weaver is also charged with killing Hugo “Yogi” Pinell, a member of the San Quentin Six, with Waylon Pitchford in a 2015 stabbing at Represa’s New Folsom Prison.

This indictment comes weeks after a jury in Sacramento convicted three Aryan Brotherhood members of murder conspiracies and other crimes, including smuggling drugs into prison. Much of the evidence was based on a wiretap operation of contraband prison cellphones.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.