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Indictment Deals ‘Devastating Blow’ to Aryan Brotherhood of Texas

By Bill Morlin on November 13, 2012 - 3:42 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime, Racist Prison Gangs

In one of the largest racketeering cases brought this year, the U.S. Department of Justice has just unsealed a 43-page indictment of 34 members of a “violent, whites-only prison-based gang with thousands of members operating” in and out of prisons throughout Texas and elsewhere.

The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) is accused of carrying out murders, attempted murders, conspiracies, arsons, assaults, robberies and drug trafficking as part of an enterprise that goes back to at least 1993. Among those charged in the indictment are four senior leaders or “generals” — Terry Ross “Big Terry” Blake, 55; Larry Max “Slick” Bryan, 51; William David “Baby Huey” Maynard, 42, and Charles Lee “Jive” Roberts, 68.

Blake and Roberts were among 17 of the defendants arrested last week by a task force of 170 state, federal and local law enforcement officers who conducted sweeps in Texas and North Carolina. Authorities say 14 of the defendants already were in custody and three remain fugitives.

Ten of those charged, including Bryan and Maynard, could face the death penalty if convicted.

It seems apparent from details contained in the indictment that several current or former members of the racist “Aryan” gang are talking with investigators, probably as part of deals to receive lighter prison sentences. The investigation was begun about three years ago, and involved the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the FBI and a host of state and county agencies in Texas, including investigators and gang experts employed by the prison system.

The arrests “represent a devastating blow to the leadership of ABT,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department Criminal Division in announcing the arrests Friday at a Houston press conference.

The hallmark of the gang, he said, is the use of “extreme violence and threats of violence to maintain internal discipline and retaliate against those believed to be cooperating with law enforcement.”

“Through violence and intimidation, ABT allegedly exerts control over prison populations and neighborhoods and instills fear in those who come in contact with its members,” Breuer said.  He pledged that the Justice Department “is determined to continue disrupting and dismantling ABT and other violent, criminal gangs.”

The indictment alleges those involved in the racketeering enterprise carried out the murders in Texas of Aaron Wade Otto, on Nov. 25, 2001; Robert Alan Branch, on March 6, 2002, and Mark Davis Byrd Sr., on May 4, 2008.

The murder of Otto 11 years ago was solved by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office cold case unit, forming a key portion of the federal case, the Houston Chronicle reported.

In one of the homicides, Aryan Brotherhood leader Kelley Ray “Magic” Elley “ordered subordinate ABT gang members to kill an ABT prospect [member] and make the killing as messy as possible” to send a message against cooperating with law enforcement, the indictment alleges.

Elley and others in the gang directed the killers to “return the victim’s severed finger as a trophy,” the indictment alleges.

“The traditional power centers of the ABT, and members of the gang’s leadership structure, were predominately located in prisons operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice,” the indictment says. The ABT was established in the early 1980s within the Texas penal system, modeling itself after and adopting many of the precepts and writings of the Aryan Brotherhood, a California-based prison gang formed in that state’s prison system during the 1960s, the indictment says.

“The ABT offered protection to ‘white’ inmates if they joined the gang,” it added.

The ABT was also characterized by “a detailed and uniform organizational structure,” with various rules, procedures and a code of conduct, outlined in a written “constitution” widely distributed to members throughout Texas and elsewhere. In Texas, two competing ABT factions eventually evolved, leading to turf wars and violence between gang members. Each faction was set up in military fashion, with a “general” for each region, and various subordinate ranking members — majors, captains, lieutenants, sergeants-at-arms and “numerous soldiers,” the indictment says.

In detailing the investigation, the Houston Chronicle reported last week that the Aryan Brotherhood has about 2,600 members in Texas prisons and another 180 in federal prisons.

ABT leaders issued direct orders (called “D.O.’s”) to subordinates, commanding them to “S.O.S.” — “smash on sight,” or assault — rival gang members or ABT members who had strayed, or to “green light “ or “X” — murder — the targeted victim, the indictment says.

Members greeted each other with a hand-sign intended to represent the letters “A” and “B.” The gang also “employed a robust symbology,” using Nazi symbols, including the Nazi flag and SS lightning bolts.

“The most coveted tattoo … was the ABT patch which could be worn only by ‘fully made’ members who generally ascended to full membership by committing a ‘blood-tie,’ an aggravated assault or murder on behalf of the gang,” the indictment alleges.

Four women — affiliated with gang members and arrested last week — are among those named in the indictment. The document says that “females were not allowed to become members of the ABT” but “engaged in criminal activity for the benefit of the gang” and were called “featherwoods.” They functioned as communication hubs, facilitating gang communication among imprisoned members through the use of the telephone, Internet and U.S. mail.

Rebecca Johnson Cropp, 44, Destiny Nicole Feathers, 24, Samantha Deann Goldman, 28, and Tammy Melissa Wall, 44, are each charged with racketeering conspiracy. Feathers also is charged with accessory after the fact to murder.

Others named in the indictment include James Lawrence “Chance” Burns, 42; Ben Christian “Tuff” Dillon, 40; Rusty Eugene Duke, 31; Chad Ray “Polar bear” Folmsbee, 29; Kenneth Michael Hancock, 32; Benjamin Troy “South” Johnson, 41;  Michael Richard Lamphere, 54; Jamie Grant “Dutch” Loveall, 37; Glen Ray “Fly” Millican Jr., 39; James Erik “Flounder” Sharron, 39; Steven Worthey, 41; Fredrick Michal “Big Mike” Villarreal, 34;  Shane Gail “Dirty” McNiel, 33; Christopher James “Rockstar” Morris, 37; Stephen Tobin “Scuba Steve” Mullen, 43; Justin Christopher “Ruthless” Northrup, 27; David Orlando “Chopper” Roberts, 35, Bill Frank “Billy the Kid” Weatherred, 28.

The others are: Dustin Lee “Lightning” Harris, 28; Clay Jarrad “Diesel” Kirkland, 33; James Marshall “Dirty” Meldrum, 40; Ronald Lee “Big Show” prince, 43; Billy Don “Big Nasty” Seay, 37; Sammy Keith “Stubby” Shipman, 30, and Brian Lee “Bam Bam” Thomas, 33.

Hometowns of the defendants were not provided by the Justice Department.

  • rellik roberts

    david orlando roberts is my older brother he was accused of killing a pedophile and i am a satanist but im kind and sweet and law abiding you people dont know shit about life and hardships.

  • newyork

    This goes out to all u youngsters out there I was recently incarcerated at Dominquez and everyone acting like they know what there talking about giving the new generation hell about false representing ect. Don’t back down we need to stick together wolf,skinny,lucky and tattoo y’all going to be just fine.

  • kayla

    Before you judge any of these people, take a good hard look at yourself. These writers make them out to be monsters…….well I know different. Ronnie Prince (Big Show) is a good friend of mine. He is kind and caring. He looks out for his friends. He’s funny and smart. He’s a good man, and no one can tell me different. All these guys are someone’s friend, brother, son, boyfriend/husband, father. They have hearts, hopes, dreams. They are human, like us all. And to all y’all out there that are their friends……..if you haven’t written them y’all are sorry excuses for human beings.

  • luv’n’FLY…

    You kno just abt all of these comments have some good and some bad… I have been dating Glen for abt 5 years. I DIDNT live that lifestyle mentioned, but until you have walked a half a mile in my mans shoes then maybe just maybe you might have earned the right to silently judge these guys. So as long as u are sitting at the table with ur cards in your hand, I sure hope ur not BLUFFING, cuz this cruel world has its POKER FACE on !!!!!!!!

  • Todd

    Good, bad, wrong, right, innocent, or guilty.

    The bible says no one sin is any worse than another.

    Jesus said let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    Our country gives us the freedom of speech.

    I believe there are good and bad in anything.

  • Viva Prock

    Unfortunately, there will always be haters in America, whether Mexican, black, asian, or white. I can tell you this though, It’s time we, as Americans, need to recognize the destruction this causes and try to be civilized with each other. I do understand the comments on the prison system though, and the horrid things that go on there. I guess joining a gang is the only way they can survive. At what cost though. You will owe these people when you get out, and you run the risk of getting killed if you try to leave the gang. I think I would rather be dead then be slave to any gang, no matter what the circumstances. As for the Texas aryan gang, well if you go around killing people, even if you did not do it, as part of the gang you all go down for the crimes. Like I said, being in a gang is not worth it.

  • Angela

    I have had the misfortune of seeing much of the activity that these type of people engage in. Harassment, intimidation, violence against other humans and animals. Selling drugs to elementary school kids. Disgusting. These people are trash.

    I think that one of the best ways to fight them is to introduce a law that cuts them off from milking a society that they use and abuse in a country that they seem to hate. They also seem to hate law enforcement (now that it doesnt protect them) and this country but that doesnt stop the great majority of their subordinates from cashing a welfare check, unemployment, WIC or medicaid. I say if you hate this country so much then this country should not pay you to spread your ignorance and vitriol.

  • kendall kirkland

    i don’t know who y’all think y’all are coming on her and saying all this stuff about people y’all don’t even know i get it if they have done something to you our family.but don’t judge someone else family just think you are talking about my dad and amanda no his family is not disgusted with him i am disgusted with you family forgives and forgets and loves you no matter what and no matter what you people think about any of these people they are good people i know a lot of them yes they made a mistake a bad mistake but they have a heart and they need people to love them there is no reason for this site all it dose is hurt there families and kids yes i am 14 and i would appreciative if you all would not talk about these people because there families get on here and read this and it hurts there feelings thank you for sticking up for my daddy j. bouldin it means alot .

  • Michael Cummings

    What happened to my post? The AB are the worst kind of scum. They should join the CIA or the FBI or maybe run for president. Siding with those gay nazi’s is worse than any kind of crime. They DIDN’T take care of their own instead they enlisted (the whiter) mexican mafia to run drugs and get fake id’s. Judging someone for judging is so hypocritical. What about the verse “judge righteous judgement”? (Be filled with the Spirit that is our one and only job here.) I don’t care if these sell-out criminals are your friends and/or family, if you had half a brain you wouldn’t want to so readily admit that. Read a book! Go see a movie with your friends! Your social class is 0% I don’t care what the mark of the beast is on your arm or how many sell-out friends it got you on facebook.

  • Michael Cummings

    A lot of people won’t sell out their principles or want to be friendly to a bunch of white-trash anti-american haters…you can call it love of them getting easy time or when THEY start having homophopic gay nazi sex with each other if you want. As for me I know they could never be fully held accountable for “not taking care of their own” that is all Americans who deserve a trial and honest lawyer and honest medication. If you bitches think that siding with the mexican mafia or any mafia is American or even anything short of being a flaming pussy with pent up repressed homosexual tendencies then you don’t know what you are talking about. Join the CIA or the FBI or the KGB…it’s all the same

  • Amanda

    Clay is my husbands cousin. They are the same age and have grown up together all their lives. Yes Clay has a daughter that is 14 and a son that is about 6 and they have both grown up without their father most of their life because of the choices he has made and continues to make. Clay needs to grow up! He will have plenty of time to do that now. His mother has always provided him with whatever he wants, brand new cars, brand new houses, pays his child support and he still sold drugs. A nice caring person does not keep going to prison and leaving his children behind. His family is is disgusted with him!

  • britni

    i just wnat to say, it says in the bible DO NOT JUDGE!!! for you will be judge by GOD himself!!! shouldnt get on here and bash people!!! get a hobby!!!

  • ann warren

    I know Micheal lamp here. He is nothing more than trash that you see in land fields . I hope he never sees the outside of prison ever again. He has torn my family apart. And used and hurt my mother.he belonged in hell . God dont like ugle.and at least the world and the people are a little safer for now.

  • j. bouldin

    Clay “diesel” kirkland is a friend of mine. Contrary to the indictment and other accusations i have personnally witnessed him try to help others in need. Others that werent gang members and some of other races. Diesel has a kind heart. I cant speak on his guilt or innocence, but i can speak on what i have seen with my own eyes. He is a proud father of a little girl, he has a girlfriend that he loves deeply, and he has many people that owe him thanks for his help. I am not affiliated with any gang or “family” or any criminal organization so i am not attempting to advocate for the abt or any other group. I cant speak on behalf of any of the others named in the indictment. Diesel is already serving a 23 year federal prison sentence. Diesel, clay, you are in my prayers, as well as your family and loved ones. Forgiveness..he’s done some wrong in life, we all have…let he who is without any wrong cast the first stone…

  • shelly

    Finally! My dad will get justice! They deserve all the can get! My dad may have been in with the worse, but he wasn’t the worst of them! It’s about damn time!


    I JUST HAD MY 16TH WEDDIN ANNIVERSAry w my husband steven worhey…. i dont really know much about this aryon stuff because i stand by my husbands side but that was his thing not mine..i read the 43 pages of legal work and so on and the man i am married to aint no monster…. i cant say i know what its like to be behind them bars but i do understand to servive u have to take care of ur own… i was really prayin this was the year he finally was comin back home since his incrceration i have be come very ill and between his two children and mine we have 6 wonderful grandchildren he never met… so steve if ur ou there u are still inicent until proven guilty and i stAND BY U….U ARE NO WHERE NEar THE MONSTER THEY ARE MAKIN U TO BE… I LOVE U and miss u and so do the kids HANG IN THERE

  • Nikki G

    I agree James Ray Bentley. Some of these guys are great guys, in fact I know and love several of them. They arent horrible people. I wish them the best.

  • cats eye

    James ray Bentley, I know some of these people too from Dayton, TX & I can tell you they are not good people. They drain our society of all that is good and toss their families & children aside for drugs & running the streets. They think they are cool & tough but they are stupid. They are white trash & should go to prison (obviously not a first for them) where they started their little gang career for a long time.

  • Lone Wolf

    According to James Ray Bentley, a person can’t understand how valuable the Aryan Brotherhood is unless they spent time in the Texas prison system..I haven’t been quick to judge the Aryan Brotherhood in sounds like there are enough judges sitting on the bench in Texas, that have already done that…James Ray Bentley hasn’t shed the walls in his mind (prison mentality) in order to transition successfully to the real world.

  • James Ray Bentley

    Maybe if some of you people had ever done time in a Texas prison, you wouldn’t be so quick to judge these people. I HAVE done time in Texas, & I know a bunch of these guys, personally, & believe it or not, they are some good people. Situations & circumstances can cause people to act in ways that they wouldn’t ordinarily act. I personally hope that the government hasn’t dotted all their i’s or crossed all their t’s, so that their case doesn’t hold up when it comes up in court. If that makes me a racist, or anathema to some of your ideals, then, so be it.. But, if you’re white, & ever have the privilege of doing time in Texas, then you’ll be happy that there is an Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. Unless, that is, you enjoy being victimized & sodomized by members of the other races

  • Lone Wolf

    I wonder if there is any connection to Christopher Brotherton and the AB at the Washington State Penitentary, in Walla Walla WA? The Peckerwoods are starting to leave the nest.

  • Aron

    Guys, I’m well aware of the Black Guerilla Family.

    I was making a joke about Barry White. You know, the big, black, bearded baritone all the ladies loved to love?

    You see, because Aryan White and Barryian White rhyme.


  • Terry Washington

    There IS already a black counterpart of the AB( whether in Texas, but apparently far less violently racist), the Black Guerrilla Family.


  • James Staples

    This all goes back to 1912….when the Bible Publishers at a certain so-called “Christian” Convention decided to change the word “Cannibaflower” to “spices”, in all English Language Bibles printed in the USA, from 1912 onwards; as none of this – the young white men going to prison for smoking pot in Texas, the enforced racism that they encounter in prison, the gangs they feel that they’re forced to join to SURVIVE on the “inside”, or the whole distribution system that they set up on the “outside” to compete with the non-whites who’re also hustling the drugs that We, The Disabled Persons without Health Insurance NEED to be able to WORK FOR A LIVING….
    You see, it’s say that changing the Bible is a “Satanic Act” – and if what I just described doesn’t make the ol Dark Lord Hap-Hap-Happy, I don’t know what WOULD!

  • Mitch Beales

    Maybe it’s just because the number of right wing hate groups has increased during the Obama administration but I’m optimistic that part of the Obama legacy will be the number of these loonies who have been locked up.

  • Sam Molloy

    Congrats to the Justice Dept. and Honorable Mention to the ABT for all the funny names.

  • Aron

    I would like to see a prison gang composed entirely of big, bearded, black, baritones. They could call themselves the ‘Barryian Brotherhood.’

    (Thanks folks, I’ll be here for the foreseeable future.)

    (Mods, please disregard my first comment.)