3 charged with killing sex ring mastermind in prison

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — Three prison inmates stabbed, beat, kicked and stomped to death Christian Maire, the mastermind of an international child exploitation ring who was killed inside the federal detention center in Milan in January, according to an indictment unsealed Wednesday.

Alex "Sniper" Castro, 39, Jason "J" Kechego, 38, and Adam "Creeper" Wright, 39, were charged with first-degree premeditated murder and accused of conspiring to prey upon smaller, weaker inmates, including Maire and another member of the child exploitation ring, Michael Figura, prosecutors said.

Christian Maire, the mastermind of an international child exploitation ring, was killed and a second member of the ring injured after being stabbed in what is believed to be a targeted attack by fellow inmates at Milan federal prison.

The case was unsealed amid heightened scrutiny of conditions within the nation's federal prison system, which drew attention earlier this month following the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein.

The indictment describes Maire's final minutes and a deliberate, coordinated attack. Maire was stabbed repeatedly with a shank and thrown down a flight of stairs after being targeted by the three men, prosecutors said.

Maire was killed Jan. 2 and autopsy results showed he was repeatedly stabbed and bashed in the head. 

The three men met and discussed killing Maire before walking upstairs to Maire’s cell inside the detention center, prosecutors said.

Maire tried to flee. Kechego grabbed Maire and started beating him, according to the indictment.

The three men stabbed Maire multiple times with shanks and then punched, kicked and stomped him, prosecutors said.

The men also assaulted and stabbed Figura during the attack, the indictment says.

“What they did was pretty brutal,” Figura’s lawyer William Swor said Wednesday. “This is not something I would wish on anybody.”

Corrections Officer Kurt Greenleaf tried to stop the attack but was assaulted by Wright, who punched a second officer, Clinton White, according to the government.

Meanwhile, Castro jumped on top of Maire and continued beating and stabbing him, prosecutors said.

The three then picked Maire off the floor and threw his body down a flight of stairs, the indictment says.

The men then started assaulting a third inmate, Craig Evans, who was punched, beaten and kicked, prosecutors said. 

The three men could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of charges that include first-degree premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder and assault with intent to commit murder.

Wright also was charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding a federal officer.

“The family does not wish to comment and, out of respect for the family, I also don’t feel it is appropriate,” Maire’s criminal defense attorney Mark Kriger said.

The assault happened less than one month after Maire, 40, a co-founder of a computer graphics company from Binghamton, New York, was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison. Figura, 36, an IT specialist at the University of Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 31 1/4 years in prison.

Figura survived the attack and is serving his sentence at an undisclosed federal prison. He did not appear in a database of federal prison inmates Wednesday.

Maire and Figura belonged to an international child exploitation ring that perfected the art of preying on preteen and teenage girls. Members of the ring who were called hunters posed as teenage boys and trolled social media websites to lure victims to a private online chatroom before manipulating more than 100 children, including at least one from Metro Detroit, to strip, masturbate and perform sex acts on camera.

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