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White supremacist gets prison time for forgery

VICTORVILLE • A 49-year-old Apple Valley white supremacist gang member was sentenced to three years and eight months in state prison for running a check-fraud scheme.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s deputies said they sought Michael Dale Gillespie on May 16 because he had violated his post-release community supervision terms. They located him and co-defendant Kimberly French at the Sunset Inn in Victorville.

Deputies discovered a syringe loaded with amphetamines inside the room, according to police reports. They also found personal information of numerous people along with laptop and desktop computers, a printer, several checks and credit cards.

Gillespie admitted printing checks and attempting to alter some of them. He told deputies that committing fraud was all he knew, and he wanted to change his life, according to police reports.

Gillespie was released on community supervision on June 5, but violated the conditions again and was arrested a month later.

He accepted the prosecution’s plea deal and in December pleaded guilty to committing second-degree burglary and forgery to benefit a gang. Victorville Superior Court Judge Eric Nakata sentenced him Wednesday based on the plea agreement.

A probation officer had interviewed Gillespie before the sentencing to give a recommendation to the judge.

Gillespie said he’s been a career criminal because he had never been provided any help to change his life, according to the probation officer’s report. He has numerous convictions involving theft, drugs and alcohol.

“If he, as he claims, wanted to be provided services, he would have at least attempted to cooperate with the probation department,” the probation officer’s report stated.

Gillespie said he’s a high-level member of White Pride Gangsters, an affiliate of the Aryan Brotherhood, according to the report.

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials told the Daily Press that more local gang members are committing identity theft and more Internet-based crimes because rewards can be greater and the risks lower.

White-collar crimes such as identity theft carry much lower prison terms than violent crimes such as robbery. Crooks can steal $50 from 100 people through card skimming, while they may get just a few dollars from one person through armed robbery.

Authorities advise people to always keep a close eye on their bank accounts and to call their bank and law enforcement immediately if they see unauthorized purchases.

Tomoya Shimura may be reached at (760) 955-5368 or TShimura@VVDailyPress.com. Follow Tomoya on Facebook at facebook.com/ShimuraTomoya.

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