On Thursday, Florida authorities arrested three Klansmen for plotting to kill a black former inmate. Each of them faces one state count of conspiracy to commit murder, according to a statement from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office. Two of them, Thomas Driver and David Moran, work for the Florida Department of Corrections. The third man, Charles Newcomb, was previously employed by the DOC.
According to the Associated Press, a fight between Driver and the inmate in the prison triggered the murder plot. Officials say that the inmate had bitten him during the scuffle. Driver, who works at the DOC Reception and Medical Center, believed the man had HIV and hepatitis.
Officials told AP that the men—all three of them members of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan—wanted revenge. They sought assistance from their Klan brothers.
But an informant inside the KKK notified the FBI that the accused men were plotting to kill the inmate, who had been released from prison in late 2014. The supposed Klan hitman subsequently recorded his conversations with the three men and provided them with fake pictures of the former inmate’s corpse.
Driver and Moran are now being held in Union County Jail. Newcomb is in Alachua County Jail with bond set at $750,000.
The state DOC is assisting with the prosecutions. “Our department has zero tolerance for racism or prejudice of any kind,” according to a written a statement from DOC officials.
This is the latest scandal in Florida’s prison system. The DOC fired dozens of guards last September for criminal wrongdoing or misconduct related to the deaths of several inmates.