WASHINGTON – A member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for his role in the 2009 shooting of a man in Jefferson County, Texas, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney John M. Bales of the Eastern District of Texas.
Joshua Mark Bodine, 32, aka “Desperado,” of Vidor, Texas, also was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Marcia A. Crone to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term. Bodine pleaded guilty on Oct. 11, 2011, to assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity.
Co-defendant John Oliver Manning, 52, aka “Fish,” of Pasadena, Texas, was convicted on Dec. 1, 2011, of racketeering and firearms charges. Bodine has been in custody since his arrest on Feb. 24, 2011, and Manning has been in custody since his arrest on Sept. 9, 2009. A sentencing date for Manning has not yet been set by the court.
According to the indictment, the ABT is a race-based, state-wide organization that operates inside and outside of state and federal prisons throughout the United States. The ABT was established in the early 1980s within the Texas prison system. It modeled itself after and adopted many of the teachings and writings of the Aryan Brotherhood, a California-based prison gang that was formed in the California prison system during the 1960s. According to the indictment, the ABT was primarily concerned with the protection of white inmates and white supremacy/separatism. Over time, the ABT expanded its criminal enterprise to include illegal activities for profit.
The evidence presented at Manning’s trial also showed that 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.
The evidence at trial established that on Sept. 7, 2009, Manning shot and wounded ABT associate Matthew Fails in Nederland, Texas, on the orders of Bodine. Specifically, Manning approached Fails with a firearm and a pair of handcuffs in an attempt to collect a debt on Bodine’s behalf and ultimately shot Fails. Fails was declared brain-dead, but later regained consciousness after emergency surgery. A surgeon testified that the wound Fails received caused “agonizing pain” and that Fails “would not ever be the same.”
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive; the Nederland Police Department; Orange County, Texas, Constable’s Office, Precinct 2; Jefferson County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; Williamson County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; Chambers County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; Alvin, Texas, Police Department; Mont Belvieu, Texas, Police Department; and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Baylor Wortham of the Eastern District of Texas and Trial Attorney Cody L. Skipper of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.