Three alleged members or associates of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) have been indicted for their alleged roles in a 2008 murder in Atascosa County, Texas, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney John E. Murphy of the Western District of Texas.
The indictment, returned by the federal grand jury today in San Antonio, charges the three defendants with violent crimes in aid of racketeering activity. Frank Lavelle Urbish Jr., aka “Thumper,” 38, of Beaumont, Texas; Michael Dewayne Smith, aka “Bucky”, 29, of Houston; and Jim Flint McIntyre, aka, “Q-Ball”, 42, of Houston, are each charged with conspiracy to commit murder, murder and possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony. Smith and McIntyre are also charged with carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and using and carrying a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence.
The indictment alleges that a prospect member of the Aryan Brotherhood, Mark Davis Byrd Sr., was murdered by McIntyre and Smith for allegedly stealing drugs he was ordered to deliver to a customer on behalf of the ABT. The indictment alleges that Byrd was murdered as a result of a “discipline” ordered by Urbish. Byrd’s body was discovered in Atascosa County on May 4, 2008.
Upon conviction, the defendants face a maximum sentence of life in federal prison or the death penalty. The defendants are currently in state custody. They are tentatively scheduled to have their initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in San Antonio on July 7, 2010.
According to the indictment, the ABT is a race-based, state-wide organization that operates inside and outside of state and federal prisons throughout Texas and elsewhere in the United States. The ABT was established in the early 1980’s within the Texas prison system. As alleged in the indictment, it modeled itself after and adopted many of the precepts and writings of the Aryan Brotherhood, a California-based prison gang that was formed in the California prison system during the 1960’s. According to the indictment, previously the ABT was primarily concerned with the protection of white inmates and white supremacy/separatism. Over time, the ABT has expanded its focus more towards a criminal enterprise to include illegal activities for profit.
As alleged in the indictment, 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.”
This case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the National Gang Targeting, Enforcement & Coordination Center ( GangTECC); the National Gang Intelligence Center; the Texas Rangers; the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Atascosa County Sheriff's Department; and the Beaumont Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by David Karpel of the Criminal Division’s Gang Unit and David Shearer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio Office, in full cooperation with the Atascosa County District Attorney’s Office.
The indictment is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.