The gang problem that plagues our communities has cut across state and district lines, even across national boundaries. But it has also broken through the barriers that we have built to separate the inmates of our nation’s prisons from the American public.
The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, or ABT, launched its brutal, murderous and racist ideology within the prisons of the state of Texas. Unfortunately, ABT then unleashed a violent crime wave that jumped the prison walls and spread like a virus, infecting communities throughout this region.
Over the course of years, Department of Justice prosecutors worked with our law enforcement partners to develop the evidence necessary to bring the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas to justice. We have used every law enforcement tool and technique to protect the communities impacted by ABT’s brutal crimes.
And today, we are announcing sweeping convictions that strike at the heart of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas: 73 convictions in five federal districts in cases prosecuted by the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division; 36 convictions in the case we prosecuted here with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas. Every single ABT defendant charged in this district has now been found guilty of serious, violent gang crimes.
Now, the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas is a highly structured, disciplined organization. At the top of its organizational chart were five generals, who ran the organization with an iron fist, issuing orders to kill and maim. In this case, we arrested – and have now convicted – all five of ABT’s active generals, decapitating the gang’s leadership.
But ABT was more than just five ruthless generals. Those generals used a host of gang members in leadership positions to control their regions, relying on ABT majors and captains and sergeants-at-arms to spread racial hatred and violence. Again, we arrested – and have now convicted – the majors, captains and sergeants-at-arms of each of the five ABT regions.
Below them were the soldiers of ABT. And we arrested – and have now convicted – those soldiers who were responsible for the most violent crimes committed by ABT.
The result of our efforts has been a dramatic recent decrease in the crimes committed by the ABT gang – crimes that had severely impacted the safety and quality of life in this region.
But we will not rest. Using every tool at our disposal, we will ensure that these ABT gang members – from the generals to the soldiers – spend their years in federal prison paying for their crimes, not committing new ones.
The violent gang problem is a nationwide problem. And it demands a nationwide solution. The Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section is the tip of the spear in America’s fight against violent crime.
Working in lockstep with our partners in law enforcement and in U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country, through sweeping gang-wide convictions like the ones we are announcing here today, we will target and we will dismantle the gangs that terrorize too many of our communities.