By Bob Negele
Four of the leaders of the “Aryan Brotherhood of Texas,” a white supremacists gang located in Texas, have been charged along with nearly three dozen fellow gang members.
According to a recent article in the Chicago Sun Times, the charges range from drug trafficking all the way up to capital murder.
Of those charged, 10 are facing charges that could carry the death penalty (Texas being one of the states to still allow it). While many of the details of the case have not yet been released, what has been alleged is incredibly brutal.
The indictment alleges that a leader ordered a subordinate to kill a prospective gang member and retrieve a severed finger as proof. Another allegation states that an order was given to burn off a fellow gang members tattoo as punishment for not following an order.
So far, 31 people have been arrested and three are yet to be caught. All the gang members charged are also being 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.”
The gang was originally founded in the 1980′s in Texas prisons. The gang quickly grew, and adopted many of the traditional Nazi-themed tattoos and symbolism.
The arrests constitute a major success for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Any time arrests can be made and charges of these caliber can be brought against a gang like this is a good day. The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas has been able to operate with such vile and hatred for far too long.
While it is unclear, we can all hope that these arrests lead to the dismantling of a criminal organization that has terrorized innocent people for over three decades.
Perhaps unexpectedly, four women were among those arrested during the massive federal crackdown last week. One of the women was arrested as far east as North Carolina. The gang would not allow women to officially join, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they didn’t break the law in furtherance of the gang’s activities.
“Prosecutors said that while women are not allowed in the gang, they aided members by using phone calls, the Internet and postal system to pass along communications that included orders to kill or assault.”
Prosecutors have said that the criminal arrests are the end of a long road that has included a multi-year investigation of the gangs’ activities. Cases of this magnitude typically take years to build, which must be frustrating for investigators as they have to sit by while the gang continues to terrorize people.
Now that dozens are in custody, the prosecutor will have to take the careful steps to ensure that all of those that are guilty of these heinous crimes face their punishments.