WASHINGTON – Fourteen alleged members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi, including four of its most senior leaders, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Mississippi for conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise. In a separate indictment, 11 alleged members and associates of the Universal Aryan Brotherhood of Oklahoma have been charged by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of Oklahoma for conspiring to participate in a racketeering enterprise, among other charges.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Felicia C. Adams of the Northern District of Mississippi and U.S. Attorney Danny C. Williams of the Northern District of Oklahoma made the announcement.
In the Northern District of Mississippi, the 10-count indictment was returned on Oct. 23, 2014, and unsealed today. Thirteen individuals were taken into custody today. In the Northern District of Oklahoma, the four-count indictment was returned on Nov. 5, 2014, and unsealed on Nov. 10, 2014. All of the charged defendants are in custody.
“The Aryan Brotherhood is a violent gang that has seeped from behind prison walls into communities throughout this nation,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. “Working in lockstep with our law enforcement partners and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices throughout the country, we are targeting and dismantling these gangs from the top general to the foot soldier so they can no longer terrorize our communities.”
“These charges resulted from an unprecedented collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers targeting a large scale prison gang involved in violent organized crime throughout the state of Mississippi,” said U.S. Attorney Adams. “This indictment represents a critical first step toward dismantling this violent organization and clearly signals that the United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners have an unwavering commitment to hold those individuals accountable who insist on creating an atmosphere of violence and fear in our communities.”
“My office remains steadfast in its commitment to work in collaboration with law enforcement to disrupt and dismantle violent crime and gang activities,” said U.S. Attorney Williams.
According to the indictments, the Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi (ABM) and Universal Aryan Brotherhood of Oklahoma (UAB) are violent, “whites only,” prison-based gangs with members operating inside and outside of state penal institutions in their respective states. The gangs allegedly modeled themselves 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. The ABM was allegedly founded in 1984, and in early 2013, pursued unification with the Aryan Brotherhood of California in order to achieve national recognition.
The UAB was allegedly founded in 1993. According to the Oklahoma indictment, the UAB has a militaristic structure comprised of a Main Council, Yard Captains and Soldiers. The Main Council has ultimate authority in all gang matters.
The indictment alleges that both gangs enforced their rules and promoted discipline among members, prospects and associates through violence and threats against those who violated the rules or posed a threat to the gangs. Members, and oftentimes associates, were required to follow the orders of higher-ranking members.
According to the Mississippi indictment, in order to be considered for ABM membership, a person must be sponsored by another ABM member. Once sponsored, a prospective member must serve a probationary term of not less than six months, during which he is referred to as a prospect, and his conduct is observed by the members of the ABM. The prospect is required to sign a “prospect compact,” swear to an oath of secrecy and declare a life-time commitment to the ABM.
The ABM allegedly has a detailed and uniform organizational structure divided into three separate geographic areas of control. The state is overseen and directed by a three-member “wheel” commonly referred to as “spokes.” The wheel has ultimate authority in all gang matters. The indictment charges four alleged wheel members: Frank Owens, Jr, 44, aka “State Raised,” of D’Iberville, Mississippi; Perry Mask, 46, of Corinth, Mississippi; Stephen Hubanks, 45, of Rienzi, Mississippi; and Brandon Creel, 46, aka “Oak,” of Ellisville, Mississippi, with conspiracy to participate in the racketeering activities of the ABM, among other charges. The indictment also charges 10 other alleged members of the ABM. All 14 alleged members of the ABM are charged with conspiracy to participate in the racketeering activities of the gang and with involvement in murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault, money laundering, firearms trafficking and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
The charges contained in an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The Mississippi case is being investigated by a multi-agency task force consisting of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Drug Enforcement Administration; FBI; U.S. Marshals Service; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations; Mississippi Highway Patrol; Mississippi Bureau of Investigation; Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics; Harrison County Sheriff’s Office; South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team; Tupelo Mississippi Police Department; North Mississippi Narcotics Unit; Tishomingo County Sheriff’s Office; Lee County Sheriff’s Office; Forrest County District Attorney’s Office; Prentiss County Sheriff’s Office; Jones County Sheriff’s Office; Harrison County Sheriff’s Office; and South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team.
The Oklahoma case is being investigated by a multi-agency task force consisting of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations; Tulsa Police Department; ATF; Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division; Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office; and Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
The cases are being prosecuted by the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Northern District of Mississippi and the Northern District of Oklahoma.