HOUSTON (AP) — Four top leaders of the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood of Texas are among nearly three dozen alleged gang members charged in a sweeping indictment unsealed Friday that accuses them of crimes ranging from capital murder to drug trafficking.
Few details were released about the alleged crimes, but 10 defendants are facing charges that carry a death penalty. As examples of the gang's brutality, the indictment says one leader ordered a subordinate to kill a gang prospect and return his severed finger, and another was told to burn a tattoo from a member's arm for not following an order.
"Brutal beatings, fire bombings, drug trafficking and murder are all part of ABT's alleged standard operating procedure," Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breurer said in a statement. "As charged, ABT uses violence and threats of violence to maintain internal discipline and to retaliate against those believed to be cooperating with law enforcement."
Only three people named in the indictment haven't been arrested. Sixteen people were arrested Friday across Texas, while 15 others were already in custody, prosecutors said, adding that the arrests capped years of investigation.
All are charged with racketeering conspiracy. Some were charged with involvement in at least three murders, multiple attempted murders, kidnappings, assaults and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.
A message left for the U.S. Attorney's Office seeking more details about the alleged crimes and those arrested wasn't immediately returned Friday.
The military-style gang was founded in Texas prisons in the 1980s to offer protection to white inmates if they joined. Modeled after a similar gang that surfaces in California prisons in the 1960s, members often use hand signs symbolizing their participation and have Nazi-themed tattoos.
Investigators say the gang works as five regions, and that four of those charged were "generals" who controlled activities in a region while supervising the gang's overall activities, including issuing orders to kill in a steering committee known as the "Wheel."
The leaders were identified as Terry Ross Blake, 55; Charles Lee Roberts, 68; Larry Max Bryan, 51; and William David Maynard, 42. Blake and Roberts were arrested Friday, while Bryan and Maynard were already in prison. Home phone numbers weren't listed for Blake or Roberts, and court documents didn't yet show any of the men had retained attorneys.
According to the indictment, Bryan is facing charges in the fatal shooting of an ABT prospect member who allegedly stole drugs he was ordered to deliver to a customer on behalf of the ABT in Pleasanton, south of San Antonio. Bryan could face the death penalty in the case.
The charges against Maynard include the murder of a fellow gang member. He also could face the death penalty.
Bryan, sentenced in 1991 in Bexar County to 30 years for heroin delivery, is eligible for parole next year. Maynard arrived in 2003, with a 75-year term for murder conspiracy from Travis County. It was his fourth conviction.
Four women were among those arrested Friday, including one in North Carolina. U.S. Attorney's spokeswoman Angela Dodge said she didn't have details about the North Carolina arrest. Prosecutors said that while women are not allowed in the gang, they aid members by using phone calls, the Internet and the postal system to pass along communications that include orders to kill or assault.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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