November 20, 2014
Contact: SA Debbie Webber
Phone Number: (504) 840-1363
Fourteen Aryan Brotherhood Members And Associates Indicted On Federal Racketeering Charges In Mississippi
OXFORD, Miss. - Drug Enforcement (DEA) Special Agent in Charge Keith Brown and Felicia C. Adams, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi announced today that fourteen alleged members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi, including four of its most senior leaders, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Mississippi for conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise. The 10-count indictment was returned on Oct. 23, 2014, and unsealed today. Thirteen individuals were taken into custody today.
“The Aryan Brotherhood of (ABM) is an organization that was founded on violence and will utilize violence in an effort to further its cause. Our communities deserve to exist without fear and intimidation inflicted by violent drug gangs like the ABM,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Brown. “Today’s takedown of suspected ABM gang members is another example of DEA’s relentless focus on targeting these organizations that plague our communities, whether it is from a prison cell or in the free world. Because drug trafficking and gang violence isn’t confined to one jurisdiction or community, it is important that each agency work together to better the quality of life for all the surrounding cities and neighborhoods. Many thanks go out to the hard working detectives, federal agents, and prosecutors who worked behind the scenes to build these cases. Our continued pledge to the people of Mississippi is that we will continue, working with all our law enforcement partners, to relentlessly pursue these violent criminals and drug traffickers,” said Brown.
“These charges resulted from an unprecedented collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers targeting a large scale prison gang involved in violent organized crime throughout the state of Mississippi,” said U.S. Attorney Adams. “This indictment represents a critical first step toward dismantling this violent organization and clearly signals that the United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners have an unwavering commitment to hold those individuals accountable who insist on creating an atmosphere of violence and fear in our communities.”
According to the indictment, the Aryan Brotherhood of (ABM) is a violent, “whites only,” prison-based gang with members operating inside and outside of state penal institutions in Mississippi. The gang allegedly modeled themselves after and adopted many of the precepts and writings of the Aryan Brotherhood, a California-based prison gang that was formed in the California prison system during the 1960s. The ABM was allegedly founded in 1984, and in early 2013, pursued unification with the Aryan Brotherhood of California in order to achieve national recognition. The indictment alleges that the gang enforced their rules and promoted discipline among members, prospects and associates through violence and threats against those who violated the rules or posed a threat to the gangs. Members, and oftentimes associates, were required to follow the orders of higher-ranking members.
According to the indictment, in order to be considered for ABM membership, a person must be sponsored by another ABM member. Once sponsored, a prospective member must serve a probationary term of not less than six months, during which he is referred to as a prospect, and his conduct is observed by the members of the ABM. The prospect is required to sign a “prospect compact,” swear to an oath of secrecy and declare a life-time commitment to the ABM. The ABM allegedly has a detailed and uniform organizational structure divided into three separate geographic areas of control. The state is overseen and directed by a three-member “wheel” commonly referred to as “spokes.” The wheel has ultimate authority in all gang matters. The indictment charges four alleged wheel members: Frank Owens, Jr, 44, aka “State Raised,” of D’Iberville, Mississippi; Perry Mask, 46, of Corinth, Mississippi; Stephen Hubanks, 45, of Rienzi, Mississippi; and Brandon Creel, 46, aka “Oak,” of Ellisville, Mississippi, with conspiracy to participate in the racketeering activities of the ABM, among other charges. The indictment also charges 10 other alleged members of the ABM. All 14 alleged members of the ABM are charged with conspiracy to participate in the racketeering activities of the gang and with involvement in murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault, money laundering, firearms trafficking and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
The charges contained in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case is being investigated by a multi-agency task force consisting of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and (ATF); Drug Enforcement Administration; FBI; U.S. Marshals Service; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations; Mississippi Highway Patrol; Mississippi Bureau of Investigation; Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics; Harrison County Sheriff’s Office; South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team; Tupelo Mississippi Police Department; North Mississippi Narcotics Unit; Tishomingo County Sheriff’s Office; Lee County Sheriff’s Office; Forrest County District Attorney’s Office; Prentiss County Sheriff’s Office; Jones County Sheriff’s Office; Harrison County Sheriff’s Office; and South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team.
The case is being prosecuted by the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and the U.S. Attorneys’ Office for the Northern District of Mississippi.