Sixteen convicted in large-scale conspiracy involving local ABT gang ring
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – A total of 16 South Texas residents have been convicted of charges, including conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity, involving the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) which also involved methamphetamine distribution, announced DEA Houston Division Special Agent in Charge Will Glaspy and U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.
Today, U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos sentenced James Randall Lee Ross, 45, OF Corpus Christi, aka “Silver,” to 292 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release.
Previously sentenced were Corpus Christi residents David Wayne Frost, aka Spider, 47; Michael Lee Craig, aka Rooster, 44; Mark Clairborne Pennington, aka Shiloh, 59; Brian Russell Campbell, aka Iceman, aka Loyalty, 35; Johnny Glenn Voiles, aka Panhead, 47; Jimmy Curtis Mullenax III, aka Curt, 40; Kenneth Brandenburh, aka K-Dog, 44; Matthew Jay Thompson, aka Pie Face, 33; Pedro Campos, aka Pete, 59; Abby Telge, 28; Johnny Hagensick, 49; Randy Stasney, 60; Allen Saunders, 35; Blanca Blanche Sandoval, 40; and Sue Campbell, 34.
They received terms of imprisonment ranging from 120 to 292 months in federal prison.
All defendants and others known and unknown, were members and associates of the ABT, a criminal organization whose members and associates engaged in the illegal trafficking of controlled substances, extortion, murder, attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapons and other acts of violence. The organization operated throughout Texas, including Corpus Christi.
One of the purposes of the criminal enterprise was to keep victims in fear of the enterprise and in fear of its leaders, members and associates through threats of violence and actual violence. Ross, Frost, Craig, Pennington, Campbell and Voiles were convicted of conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity involving ABT between 1995 and 2017. Ross, Frost and Craig were also convicted of violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity occurring in September 2015. All 16 were also convicted of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine between July 2012 to 2017.
Evidence was discussed and presented during the multiple plea and sentencing hearings in this case regarding the extent of this criminal organization. The ABT is a powerful race-based Texas state-wide organization operating inside and outside state and federal prisons throughout the State of Texas and the United States. ABT was established in the early 1980s within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). It modeled itself after and adopted many of the precepts and writings of the Aryan Brotherhood, a California-based prison gang formed in the California prison system during the 1960s. ABT offers protection to white inmates if they join the criminal enterprise. They adhere to the motto that "God Forgives, Brothers Don't." Membership is for life. The only way out of the gang is by death. ABT members refer to the gang as the "Family" and promote "whites as the superior race."
The ABT operate with a strict chain of command and a defined militaristic ranking structure. The hierarchy of each faction is broken up into five separate TDCJ regions. Each region has the following chain of command: general, major, captain, lieutenant, sergeant-at-arms and soldier. The ranking structure remains constant; however, frequent personnel changes (promotions, demotions, terminations) occur within the rank structure. The "Wheel," a five-person steering committee, governs each faction of the ABT. Each Wheel member is a general who is responsible for appointing his subordinate within his respective regions. Each Wheel member also appoints an inside major (in-custody gang member) and outside major (referring to someone in the "free world") in each of his respective region. These majors, in turn, are responsible for appointing their subordinate captains and lieutenants who, in turn, appoint their sergeants. Wheel members typically remain in place regardless of custody status unlike other ranking members who typically lose rank when their custody status changes.
The ABT has been involved in racketeering activities almost since its inception. Identity theft, counterfeiting and check fraud constitute the most prevalent non-violent crimes committed by ABT members/prospects/associates. Through the commission of these offenses, along with the distribution of narcotics, the ABT generates income for the enterprise.
ABT members take a "blood oath" to obey superiors. Failure to obey may result in a severe beating or death, which is carried out by other ABT members/prospects/associates. ABT members/prospects/associates that cooperate with law enforcement authorities are also subject to murder.
Multiple defendants were also convicted of a large-scale drug-trafficking conspiracy involving kilogram quantities of pure methamphetamine that had been trafficking in the Corpus Christi area since at least 2012 and continuing to 2018.
Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration; Texas Department of Public Safety; Nueces County Sheriff’s Office; Corpus Christi Police Department; and the U.S. Marshals Service conducted the joint investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lance Watt and Julie K. Hampton are prosecuting the case.
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