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Former gang member can leave prison as parolee
parole board

David William Hess, 47, of Modesto, was found suitable for parole during a June 24 hearing of the State Board of Parole hearings at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione.

In 2009, Hess was sentenced to serve 15 years-to-life in state prison for a carjacking, along with the enhancement of doing so for the benefit of a criminal street gang.

In making its decision to allow Hess to be released on parole, the Parole Board determined he did not pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society, that he had immediately dropped out of the Nazi Low Rider gang upon coming to prison in 2009, had not been violent since, had no misconduct reported in the last 10 years, had obtained his GED and attended classes to gain marketable skills.

Deputy District Attorney Erin Schwartz argued against Hess’s release. 

In December 2005, Hess, then a 35-year-old member of the Nazi Low Rider criminal street gang, was in custody at the Stanislaus County jail with fellow gang member Dion “Bugsy” Milam who was charged with murder. Milam and other gang members made contacted with inmate Allen Freitas who was arrested in Ceres for the murder of his wife (a charge later dropped because the death was from cancer). Because Freitas was suffering from an addiction to methamphetamine, he bought a batch from Micah Ames and Milam about 10 days after entering jail. Freitas mentioned having money, and paid $150 for the next batch of meth. Freitas indicated he would pay off his drug debt once he was free. But once he was out of custody, the victim did pay money to the gang. After several payments to the gang, the victim grew tired of being extorted. He broke off contact only to be later confronted by Hess, who showed off his white supremacist tattoos that include swastikas, lightning bolts, white power symbols, “pure hate,” skulls and dragons. During trial, District Attorney Investigator and gang expert, Froilan Mariscal, told the jury that the tattoos proved Hess was a member of the Nazi Low Riders.

Investigators recorded a Dec. 22, 2005 jail phone call between the incarcerated Milam and Hess in which Milam ordered Hess to rob the victim. Later that day, Hess confronted the victim in the parking lot of In-N-Out Burgers in Modesto, simulated possession of a handgun and took the victim’s car.

The next morning, investigators contacted the victim, who had been afraid to report the crime to law enforcement due to threats of retaliation. The victim agreed to testify for the prosecution after being placed in the State’s Witness Relocation Program. Officers arrested Hess that same day still driving the victim’s car.