Two Aryan Brotherhood of Texas Gang Members Plead Guilty to Federal Racketeering Charges
|Feb. 14, 2014|
HOUSTON – Two members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas gang (ABT) have pleaded guilty to racketeering charges related to their membership in the ABT’s criminal enterprise.
United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson and Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division made the announcement.
Ronald Lee Prince, aka “Big Show,” 44, of Dallas, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Sim Lake to one count of conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity. Stephen Tobin Mullen, aka “Scuba Steve, 44, of Dallas, previously pleaded guilty to the same charge.
According to court documents, Prince, Mullen and other ABT gang members and associates agreed to commit multiple acts of murder, robbery, arson, kidnapping and narcotics trafficking on behalf of the ABT gang. Prince, Mullen and numerous ABT gang members met on a regular basis at various locations throughout Texas to report on gang-related business, collect dues, commit disciplinary assaults against fellow gang members and discuss acts of violence against rival gang members, among other things.
By pleading guilty to racketeering charges, Prince and Mullen admitted to being members of the ABT criminal enterprise.
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 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, in order 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 he is referred to as a prospect, while his conduct is observed by the members of the ABT.
At sentencing, scheduled for Oct. 9, 2014, each defendant faces a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Prince and Mullen are two of 36 defendants charged with conducting racketeering activity through the ABT criminal enterprise, among other charges. To date, 19 defendants have pleaded guilty.
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; Homeland Security Investigations; Texas Rangers; Texas Department of Public Safety; Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office; Houston Police Department-Gang Division; Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Office of Inspector General; sheriff’s offices in Harris, Tarrant, Atascosa, Orange and Waller Counties; police departments in Alvin, Carrollton and Mesquite Texas; as well as the Montgomery and Atascosa County District Attorney’s Offices.
The case is being prosecuted by the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas.