Judges, District Attorneys, and law enforcement are being extra vigilant in Texas. Deputy District Attorney Mark Hasse, 57, was shot to death on January 31 near the county courthouse, and District Attorney Mike McLelland, 63, and his wife were gunned down in their home Saturday.
One of the groups receiving scrutiny by authorities is the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas. The “brotherhood” is more than a white supremacist group, it is a prison based gang. It has been involved in more than 100 murders and 10 kidnappings since 1980.
“Brutal beatings, fire bombings, drug trafficking and murder are all part of ABT’s alleged standard operating procedures,” said Lanny Breuer, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney General.
The murders happened in Kaufman County, Texas which has been actively prosecuting organized crime. 34 members of the gang lived in the area and had racketeering and conspiracy charges filed against them in November. 4 of those were known to be leaders of ABT.
The United States Department of Justice wrote:
“Court documents allege that the ABT enforced its rules and promoted discipline among its members, prospects and associates through murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, arson, assault, robbery and threats against those who violate the rules or pose a threat to the enterprise. Members, and oftentimes associates, were required to follow the orders of higher-ranking members, often referred to as “direct orders.”
The original Aryan Brotherhood began in California’s San Quentin prison in the 1960’s. It was founded to protect white prisoners from hate crime inside the prison. The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas was denied membership into the original group. They operate independently.
With a beginning similar to the California group, it’s primary purpose now is making money through illicit means. Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center said this about the ABT.
“I think the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas today is arguably the most violent white supremacist prison gang out there,”
“At the end of the day, these organizations are really fundamentally criminal enterprises,” Potok said. “That means, above all, their interest is in green. In money. Skin color comes long after that.”
To join the ABT, an individual must commit murder. There is no way out once accepted into the gang. If someone choses to leave, they have signed their own death warrant.
The ABT leaves its signature on their murders. They are always committed with excessive violence and torture.
The McLellands were murdered with an assault weapon. Authorities described “shell casings everywhere”.
Membership in the ABT is estimated at 15 to 20 thousand.
Columnist-The Guardian Express