Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Third Guilty Plea Entered in Massive Aryan Brotherhood Drug Conspiracy in California Prisons

by Jo Ellen Nott

On September 12, 2022, the wife of an imprisoned street gang member pleaded guilty to posing as a paralegal for an allegedly corrupt lawyer in a scheme to smuggle methamphetamine into the California State Prison at Folsom.

Kristen Demar, 47, pleaded guilty to smuggling drugs to Folsom prisoner William “Billy from Norco” Sylvester, 54. A member of the Aryan Brotherhood (AB) prison gang, he is serving a life sentence for murder at the lockup near Sacramento. Sylvester is one of 16 AB members indicted in May 2019 for allegedly running a prison drug and extortion ring using outside accomplices and contraband cellphones. [See: PLN, Jan. 2020, p.31.]

During a 2016 probe by the federal Department of Justice, wiretapped calls detailed the plot by Demar to visit Sylvester to pass off contraband. The plan called for wheelchair-bound Southern California attorney Kevin MacNamara, 42, to enter the prison for a supposed legal visit, accompanied by Demar posing as a paralegal. Tipped off in advance, prison officials filmed it with a secret camera, according to court records.

Demar is married to a member of the Sacramento Skinhead gang, Charles Gilbert “Boots” Demar ,47, who is serving 75 years at Folsom for manufacturing methamphetamine for AB members to distribute. He is also a suspect in the 2018 slaying of fellow prisoner Aaron Glynn, 36, when both were incarcerated at Calipatria State Prison.

Federal prosecutors scored their first victory in the AB case when one of those indicted with Sylvester, Samuel Keeton, 41, pleaded guilty in November 2020 to running drugs for the gang to the prison in 2016. He is still awaiting sentencing.

On June 18, 2022, the next guilty plea was entered by 48-year-old Donald “Popeye” Mazza, founder of another skinhead gang, Public Enemy Number 1. He admitted agreeing to carry out a hit in 2016 on his friend and AB member Michael “Thumper” Trippe. From another Folsom cell, AB leader Ronald Dean “Renegade” Yandell allegedly ordered Trippe killed after deciding he showed insufficient loyalty once released. Mazza is also awaiting sentencing.

With Kristen Demar’s guilty plea, the case against Sylvester and MacNamara grows stronger. Video evidence at her trial showed Demar reaching into a bag on MacNamara’s wheelchair and then quickly handing Sylvester several items, including a cellphone. Guards searched Sylvester following the visit and found four iPhones sewn into his pants, plus three baggies hidden in his rectum with 174 grams of tobacco and 20 grams of methamphetamine vacuum-sealed inside.

Kristen Demar previously pleaded not guilty after her 2019 arrest. But she changed her plea on September 1, 2022, admitting to conspiracy in a racketeering enterprise and methamphetamine distribution. She faces a possible life sentence. However, her plea deal includes a “minor role reduction” making her “substantially less culpable” than other co-conspirators and thereby eligible for a lesser term. Her sentencing has been pushed back to December 2022. See: USA v. Yandell, USDC (E.D. Ca.), Case No. 2:19-cr-00107. 

Additional sources: KCRA, Mercury News, Sacramento Update

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login