WASHINGTON – A Vidor, Texas, man was sentenced today to life in prison for his role in 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 Robert Pitman for the Western District of Texas.
Michael Dewayne Smith, 31, aka “Bucky,” was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez in the Western District of Texas. Smith admitted that he participated in the murder of Mark Davis Byrd Sr.
According to information presented in court, Smith 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 Smith and Jim Flint McIntyre, 44, aka “Q-Ball,” 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 Frank Lavelle Urbish, aka, “Thumper.” Byrd’s body was discovered in Atascosa County on May 4, 2008.
On June 2, 2011, Urbish, an ABT member, pleaded guilty to murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the racketeering-related death of Byrd. Sentencing for Urbish will occur before the end of the calendar year. Fellow ABT gang member McIntyre pleaded guilty to the same charges in February 2011 and was sentenced to life in prison 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.