When it comes to creating a post-racial society, perhaps the world could learn a thing or two from drug dealers. According to federal prosecutors, a powerful Aryan Nation gang in Bellingham put aside their bigoted beliefs and worked closely with a group of Hispanic men to sell meth and heroin.
Hamilton even had a state Department of Corrections employee on his payroll feeding him information about potential police investigations. Clearly he needed a better mole, because the feds eventually tapped his phones and listened in as he and his girlfriend arranged sizable drug deals.
Hamilton reportedly imported product from Elidio Jesus Guillen and Israel Jaso Rodriguez in King County. DEA agents staked out Rodriguez's house in Kent in December of 2011, hoping to catch him delivering a drug shipment to Hamilton. Instead, they spotted a man named Guillermo Gonzalez leaving the house in a red Honda CRV.
Image Source Todd Robert Hamilton, alleged leader of an Aryan Nation gang called The Hated.
The DEA agents tried to follow Gonzalez, but he was onto them. According to charging documents filed last week, Gonzalez made a U-turn and circled the block, retracing his route before ending up at a strip mall on Pacific Highway South. The agents noted that they could see Gonzalez pointing at one of their surveillance vehicles. In full view of the feds, Gonzalez and two other men loaded mattresses into the car. After more counter-surveillance precautions, Gonzalez and another man headed north to Bellingham.
It was nearly 2 a.m. by the time Gonzalez and his passenger reached their destination. The feds asked a Whatcom County Sheriffs deputy to pull over the CRV. Gonzalez was frisked, and the search turned up a glass meth pipe and more than $4,000 cash. A subsequent search of the car revealed a loaded 9 mm handgun under the driver's seat, and several ounces of meth stashed in the car door and a hidden dashboard compartment. Gonzalez allegedly admitted he'd been paid $1,300 to deliver the meth to Bellingham, and also confessed that he had already made the same run eight times before. Gonzalez now faces a felony charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, as do Hamilton's alleged suppliers, Guillen and Rodriguez.
Although they make strange bedfellows, a DEA spokesperson says it's not uncommon for Mexican drug trafficking organizations to partner with white supremacists, biker gangs, and other groups that don't otherwise might not take kindly to brown-skinned folks. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, the arrangement dates back to a longstanding alliance that was formed between the Mexican Mafia and the Aryan Nation prison gangs in California.
It may seem odd, but it's hardly the first time business needs have trumped racial prejudice. Interviewed last year for a story about Latino street gangs in King County, ATF special agent in charge Kelvin Crenshaw put it best.
"The color that matters is not red or blue, or black and white -- it's green," Crenshaw said. "It's about money. That's what drives everything. They're buying product, they're selling product. At the end of the day what drives all of them is money."