Exeter Skinhead gets 20 years in prison

The Foothills Sun Gazette, California/December 9, 2009

On Thursday Dec. 3, an Exeter white supremist gang member was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his participation in stealing two vehicles, possession of a firearm by a felon and criminal threats.

On Aug. 15, 2004 officers from the Exeter Police Department were called to investigate a stolen vehicle in the driveway of the residence where 33-year-old Michael McGee, who was on active parole, lived with a family.

Officers observed McGee and Nathan David, both associated with a local skinhead gang, drive off in the stolen vehicle. They led police on a high speed chase that ultimately ended in an orange grove when the two were able to flee from the stolen car and escape due to the low visibility created by the dust thrown up by the vehicle. Law enforcement apprehended David in the grove that night and he was ultimately sentenced to 44 months in prison for his connection with this case.

However, McGee was able to elude authorities that night when another individual associated with the gang drove to the area and picked him up. Law enforcement discovered two loaded firearms in the recovered stolen vehicle.

On Sept. 7, 2004 deputies from the Tulare County Sheriff's Department were dispatched to a victim's home for a crime that had just occurred. Upon arrival law enforcement discovered that McGee had crashed a second stolen vehicle on the victim's property. The victim, who had seen the vehicle driving on his private property, went to investigate. When the victim saw the disabled vehicle he attempted to offer McGee assistance. Instead, McGee pointed a handgun at the victim and threatened to kill him. The victim backed away allowing McGee to flee into an orange grove and escaped before law enforcement arrived on scene. McGee was eventually arrested thanks to the efforts of Deputy Scott Ballantyne from the Tulare County Sheriff's Department, Det. Mike Clark of the Woodlake Police Department, Officer Mark Frick of the Exeter Police Department and Officer Mark Berlin of the California Highway Patrol.

McGee pled to two counts of unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, one count of felon in possession of a firearm and one count of criminal threats using a firearm. Because of McGee's criminal history and the plea in this case the Honorable Judge Paul Vortmann sentenced him to a total of 20 years in prison.

This case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Samantha Arnerich.

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