Former Professor Pleads Guilty to Setting Multiple Fires Behind Firefighters Responding to the Dixie Fire
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Pat Brady, 53, of Lake Forest, pleaded guilty today to murder in aid of racketeering as part of a long-running investigation into the California Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, between 2011 and 2016, Aryan Brotherhood (AB) members and associates engaged in racketeering activity, committing multiple acts involving murder, conspiracies to murder, and drug trafficking crimes. The charges allege that AB members oversaw a significant heroin and methamphetamine trafficking operation from their California prison cells using smuggled cellphones to direct drug trafficking activities, order murders, and oversee other criminal activities inside and outside of the prisons.
According to the plea agreement, on July 28, 2018, Brady murdered an inmate at High Desert Prison as part of an AB-related killing. Brady admitted that he committed the murder because the victim falsely claimed to be an AB member and had run up a significant drug debt at his previous prison — both violations of the AB’s expected codes of conduct. Brady willfully, deliberately, and with premeditation, murdered the victim in order to maintain his status within the gang.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Vallejo Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office, and the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason Hitt, Ross Pearson, and David Spencer are prosecuting the case.
U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller is scheduled to sentence Brady on March 25, 2024. Brady faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
Four remaining defendants, Ronald Yandell, Billy Sylvester, Danny Troxell, and Jason Corbett are scheduled for trial in February 2024. The charges against them are only allegations; they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated under the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF). OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. For more information about Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, please visit Justice.gov/OCDETF.