WASHINGTON – A Pasadena, Texas, man pleaded guilty today to charges related to a homicide that took place in Atascosa County, Texas, in May 2008, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy for the Western District of Texas.
Frank Lavelle Urbish Jr., 39, aka “Thumper,” pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez to committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering activity. Specifically, Urbish accepted responsibility for his role in the murder of Mark Davis Byrd Sr.
According to information presented in court, Urbish was a member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT), a powerful race-based, statewide organization that operates inside and outside of state and federal prisons throughout Texas and the United States. The ABT enforces its rules and promotes discipline among its members, prospects and associates through murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, assault, robbery and threats against those who violate the rules or pose a threat to the enterprise. Members, and oftentimes associates, are required to follow the orders of higher-ranking members, often referred to as “direct orders.”
According to court documents, Byrd, an ABT prospect member, was murdered by Jim Flint McIntyre, 43, aka “Q-Ball,” of Houston, and Michael Dewayne Smith, 30, aka “Bucky,” of Houston, for allegedly stealing drugs he was ordered to deliver to a customer on behalf of the ABT. According to court documents, Byrd was murdered as a result of a “discipline” ordered by Urbish. Byrd’s body was discovered in Atascosa County on May 4, 2008.
Smith, an ABT member, pleaded guilty on May 11, 2011, to murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the racketeering-related death of Byrd. McIntyre, a fellow ABT gang member, pleaded guilty to the same charges on Feb. 11, 2011.
At sentencing, Urbish, Smith and McIntyre all face life in prison. Sentencing for Urbish is scheduled for Sept. 7, 2011. Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 17, 2011, and McIntyre is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 19, 2011.
This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Texas Rangers; the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Atascosa County Sheriff’s Department; and the Beaumont, Texas, Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney David Karpel of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Shearer for the Western District of Texas, in full cooperation with the Atascosa County District Attorney’s Office.