- Associated Press - Thursday, June 2, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma County sheriff says the jail was locked down two days last week because of concerns about violence from a local gang.

Sheriff John Whetsel says the jail was on lock down after the Irish Mob threatened to harm jail staff across the state.

“It was not only us,” Whetsel said to county commissioners. “It was Tulsa County. It was the state prison system. (It was) because of the Irish Mob. … a gang that had kind of declared warfare across the state of Oklahoma.”

He says the threat was spurred by an ongoing Oklahoma County trial involving the “Cathouse” slayings. The nickname was given to the case because one of the victims worked at a Nevada brothel that was featured on an HBO reality show.

The trial for the last two defendants in the case began May 16, The Oklahoman (https://bit.ly/25zzwpS ) reported.

Denny Phillips and Russell Lee Hogshooter are charged with six counts of first-degree murder in the November 2009 deaths of Brooke Phillips, Milagros Barrera, Jennifer Lynn Ermey and Casey Mark Barrientos. Phillips and Barrera were pregnant.

Their deaths sparked a series of fights that month between American Indians and Hispanics in three prisons across the state. Six prisoners were treated in hospitals.

Defendants in the case have been associated with the Indian Brotherhood prison gang, and the only male victim, who prosecutors identified as the target, was Hispanic.

Whetsel didn’t have an explanation for why the Irish Mob would have an interest in the case.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, https://www.newsok.com

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