Former BURY YOUR DEAD guitarist Eric Ellis (pictured below) was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison after being convicted of conspiracy and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act as a member of a violent Jacksonville, Florida gang.
According to court documents, inspired by the television show “Sons of Anarchy”, Maynard Kenneth Godwin (33, Jacksonville) formed his own gang and called it the Guardians. He was the “Boss,” Andrew Chase Wilkie (31, Callahan) was the “Enforcer,” Billy James Harper (31, Jacksonville) was the “Lieutenant,” and Brock Skov (32, Jacksonville) was the “Technician.” Ellis, 28, and Jonathan Hart (31, Jacksonville) were associates of the Guardians. The gang committed a series of violent felonies and crimes, including an extortion that left one man nearly dead; the choking of a young woman until she passed out; armed bank robberies; armed home invasions; daily cocaine and opiate sales; and theft of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise from local stores. Arrests were made in November 2010 when an investigation revealed that the gang was preparing to commit additional home invasion robberies. The robberies committed by the Guardians resulted in the loss of almost $2 million to their victims.
Ellis was a member of BURY YOUR DEAD from 2004 until August 2008, when he left the band for “medical reasons” and due to “personality differences.”