The roman numerals IX-XIII-IX ( 4-13-9 ) represent the letters DMI in the alphabet.
According to the members, the gang was started by a man named Perry Roark, who court records show is from Bel Air and is currently being held at the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center, known as Supermax. Roark, who is white, wanted to join the established Black Guerrilla Family, and though he was respected and knew BGF members, he was not allowed to join because of his race. So he started Dead Man Inc. in the late 1990s to serve as a white off-shoot of the BGF. The main beliefs were anti-government and anti-religion; homosexuals, rapists and snitches need not apply, members said.
The History Channel's "Gangland" series focused on Maryland's Dead Man Inc. The show listed two other co-founders - James Sweeney and Brian Jordan - who were sent to facilities in Texas and Louisiana, respectively, to break up the gangs activities. But according to the narrator, that only served to spread DMI's influence. The show claimed that DMI has 10,000 members nationwide.
Among those interviewed on camera from behind prison walls were Ricky Tolson, 30, who said he is an "elder" in the gang, and a man named Kristopher "Little Kris" Horner. According to the state's inmate locater, Horner is being held at the Maryland Correctional Institute in Hagerstown, while Tolson has apparently been released since his interview.
Tolson said DMI was in a recent "downward spiral because of infiltration by a lot of people who shouldn't be involved." Tolson, Horner and another member named William Kern said the gang was being overrun by new members who didn't share the group's core values and wouldn't back up others in fights. Members were committing acts of violence against fellow members, and no one knew who to trust. Tolson displayed scars from a stabbing carried out by a fellow member.
Roark (the gang's leader) handed down an edict that members not abiding by the rules, or those who illegitimately claimed membership, had until April 13, 2009 to get out or face consequences.
Law enforcement officers said the gang is headed for a turning point. Roark wants to keep the status quo and keep the gang affiliated with the BGF. But Sweeney, who is being held in Texas, wants the gang to move more toward white extremism.
A faction of DMI, known as POA or Power Over All is moving into the white racist prison gang movement and has made alliances with the Aryan Brotherhood.