An Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) gang member and an ABT associate were sentenced to prison today for their involvement in the May 2008 murder of an ABT prospect member.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Sim Lake in the Southern District of Texas.
Shane Gail McNiel, aka “Dirty,” 34, of San Antonio, was sentenced to serve 120 months in prison and Destiny Nicole Feathers, 24, of Jourdanton, Texas, was sentenced to serve 78 months in prison. In addition to their prison terms, McNiel and Feathers were sentenced to serve three years of supervised release.
On Aug. 21, 2013, McNiel pleaded guilty to the charge of accessory after the fact in the murder. Feathers pleaded guilty to the same offense on Aug. 14, 2013.
According to information presented in court, McNiel was a member of the ABT and Feathers was associated with the gang, a powerful, race-based, statewide organization that operates inside and outside of state and federal prisons throughout Texas and the United States. According to court documents, an ABT prospective member was murdered by Jim Flint McIntyre, 43, aka “Q-Ball,” Michael Dewayne Smith, 30, aka “Bucky,” and another ABT gang member for allegedly stealing drugs he was ordered to deliver to a customer on behalf of the ABT. According to court documents, the murder was a result of a “discipline” ordered by Frank Lavell Urbish, aka “Thumper,” and his superiors. The victim’s body was discovered in Atascosa County, Texas, on May 4, 2008. McIntyre, Smith, and Urbish each pleaded guilty to this racketeering murder in 2011.
According to the superseding indictment, the ABT was established in the early 1980s within the Texas prison system. The gang 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 1960s. According to the superseding indictment, previously, the ABT was primarily concerned with the protection of white inmates and white supremacy. Over time, the ABT has expanded its criminal enterprise to include illegal activities for profit.
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.”
According to the superseding indictment, to be considered for ABT membership, a person must be sponsored by another gang member. Once sponsored, a prospective member must serve an unspecified term, during which time he is referred to as a prospect, while his conduct is observed by the members of the ABT.
McNiel and Feathers are two of 36 defendants charged with conducting racketeering activity through the ABT criminal enterprise, among other charges.
This case is being investigated by a multi-agency task force consisting of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; FBI; U.S. Marshals Service; Federal Bureau of Prisons; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations; Texas Rangers; Texas Department of Public Safety; Montgomery County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; Houston Police Department-Gang Division; Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Office of Inspector General; Harris County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; Tarrant County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; Atascosa County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; Orange County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; Waller County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; Alvin, Texas, Police Department; Carrollton, Texas, Police Department; Mesquite Texas, Police Department; Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office; and the Atascosa County District Attorney’s Office.
The case is being prosecuted by the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.