Third inmate sentenced for killing sex-ring mastermind Christian Maire

Detroit — A federal prison inmate was sentenced Friday to more than 24 years for killing Christian Maire, the mastermind of an international child exploitation ring.

Alex Albert Castro, 43, was sentenced more than four years after Maire was kicked, stomped, stabbed with a makeshift knife 28 times and thrown down a flight of metal stairs during an attack at Milan federal prison in January 2019.

U.S. District Judge Jonathan J.C. Grey ordered the sentence to run consecutively to a 42-year sentence Castro is serving for a drug crime.

Christian Maire

Maire, 40, of Binghamton, New York, founder of a computer graphics company, was killed one month after being sentenced for heading an online group that perfected preying on preteen and teenage girls. Members, posing as teenage boys, 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 and perform sex acts on camera.

Two others were convicted for their roles in Maire’s death. Adam “Creeper” Wright, 43, was sentenced to more than 24 years in federal prison last fall. Jason “J” Kechego, 44, who was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 28 years.

Adam Wright

Michigan trial to focus on reign of terror that ended in sex ring leader’s death

“This sentence sends a message that assaults and murders in our prisons will not be tolerated,” U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison said in a statement. “We will not turn a blind eye to violence committed by inmates and we will ensure that those who put the safety and security of other inmates and prison staff at risk will face substantial additional punishment.”

Castro, a former resident of Fontana, California, was in Milan at the time of the attack waiting to be sentenced for distributing hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and heroin imported from California and sold in Grand Rapids and other Midwestern cities.

It was the latest conviction in a life of crime for a father of three nicknamed “Sniper.” Castro’s rap sheet includes a federal racketeering conviction for smuggling drugs into a California prison as a member of the La Surenos street gang through its affiliation with the Mexican Mafia prison gang.

Castro stood trial a year ago but jurors were unable to reach a unanimous decision on first- or second-degree murder. He was, however, convicted of assaulting another inmate in Milan on the same day.

Castro reached a plea deal with prosecutors in March, agreeing to plead guilty to second-degree murder.

The attack during a reign of terror allegedly involved inmates at the top of the prison hierarchy targeting victims at the bottom, sex offenders and suspected child molesters, or as they are known by prison slang, “chomos.”

Jason Kechego

Homicides in federal prisons are rare. There were 193 homicides in the nation’s federal prisons from 2001-19, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

“The senseless murder committed by Mr. Castro and his codefendants jeopardized the safety of corrections officers, staff, and inmates,” said Devin Kowalski, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Detroit Field Office. “This sentencing serves as a deterrent to promote a safe and secure environment for both staff and inmates.”

Twitter: @robertsnellnews


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