Allegations against Aryan Brotherhood

BBC News/December 5, 2002

The following are extracts from the indictment against alleged members of the Aryan Brotherhood, issued on 17 October:

The indictment names 40 alleged members and associates of the Aryan Brotherhood, including a former guard at the Florence supermax prison in Colorado.

Ex-guard Joseph Principe, 41, described as an "Aryan Brotherhood associate", is currently incarcerated at the Colorado State Prison in Canon City on charges of kidnapping and assault.

The indictment says those named were "members and associates of a criminal organisation whose members and associates engaged in, among other things, murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, extortion, robbery, and narcotics trafficking."

The indictment goes on to say: "At all relevant times, this organisation, which is known as 'the Aryan Brotherhood', operated in the Central District of California and elsewhere."

Specific crimes mentioned in the indictment are the murders of:

  • 20 May 1979: John Marzloff in prison in Atlanta, Georgia (for allegedly cheating AB leader Tommy Silverstein in a drugs deal).
  • 8 June 1980: Robert Hogan in Illinois.
  • 13 February 1983: Richard Barnes in California.
  • 23 September 1983: Gregory Keefer in Illinois.
  • 6 October 1983: Richard Andreasen in California.
  • 15 October 1988: Thomas Lamb in an Illinois prison (hanged to make it look like suicide).
  • 9 August 1989: Arva Lee Ray in California.
  • 28 December 1992: William McKinney (beaten to death with a metal bar in Lompoc penitentiary) in California.
  • 25 August 1995: Charles Leger in Kansas.
  • 7 February 1996: Arthur Ruffo in California.
  • 25 July 1997: Aaron Nash in California.
  • 28 August 1997: Frank Joyner in California and Abdul Salaam in Pennsylvania.
  • 18 May 1999: Terry Walker in Illinois.

It also cites several attempted murders, including that of Jeffrey Barnett in California in 1990. He was targeted because his wife refused to smuggle drugs inside.

Mafia boss 'hired AB killers'

The indictment says jailed New York mafia boss John Gotti - who died earlier this year - offered to pay AB members a bounty for the murder of Walter Johnson, an inmate at the Marion penitentiary in Illinois.

The indictment also claims AB members organised heroin smuggling into and out of the prison system, and arranged payment to associates on the outside.

In November 1994 Michael McElhiney allegedly gave AB associate Danny McPheeters a quarter of a gram of heroin to use to pay the winner of a poker game.

Money orders - supposedly from the proceedings of heroin smuggling - were then allegedly sent to AB leaders in the supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

The indictment goes on to allege that Barry Mills, Tyler Bingham, Ron Slocum, Michael McElhiney, David Sahakian, Steve Scott, Wayne Bridgewater, Steven Hicklin, Chris Gibson, John Campbell, Jesse Van Meter, Richard McIntosh, Carl Knorr Jr, Jason Schwyhart and Henry Houston conspired "to murder black inmates in the institutions of the Federal Bureau of Prisons".

In January 1997 Edgar Hevle, an inmate at Lewisburg, allegedly contacted AB colleagues at Marion and suggested they manufactured knives, or "shanks", and attacked black inmates in retaliation for trouble at Lewisburg.

Race war

In March 1997 a message was allegedly sent to Mills by AB members at Marion, informing them they had "gone to war" with the DC Blacks prison gang.

Mills is also accused of sending a message to Glen Filkins in 1996 proposing the AB take control of the Dirty White Boys prison gang.

In 1997 the AB's Federal Commission allegedly set up security, drugs, gambling and business departments.

Campbell, Schwyhart and Houston were allegedly rewarded with AB membership in September 1997 for participating in the murder of black inmates at a penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

In June 2000 Edward Burnett allegedly sent a letter to Slocum in which he asked him to look into the background of a guard at Pelican Bay state prison in California to see whether the officer should be murdered.

A Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman said of Mr Principe: "Clearly this person's alleged actions do not reflect the dedication and professionalism of the more than 300 staff at the jail."

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