Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Mississippi
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Two Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi Gang Members Convicted on Federal Racketeering Charges
WASHINGTON – A federal jury in the Northern District of Mississippi convicted two members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi (ABM) gang for their participation in various criminal acts, including racketeering conspiracy, methamphetamine production and trafficking, kidnapping, murder and other federal offenses. The verdicts marked the culmination of a 2 ½ year investigation and prosecution of ABM, which resulted in the convictions of 42 members and associates of the gang.
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, Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) New Orleans Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Constance Hester of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Fire and Explosives (ATF) New Orleans Field Office and Special Agent in Charge Donald Alway of the FBI’s Jackson, Mississippi, Division.
“The Criminal Division and its partners at U.S. Attorney’s Offices appropriately use racketeering laws to target the worst-of-the worst gang members and the leaders of criminal enterprises like the Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. “Just as we did in the recent Aryan Brotherhood prosecutions in Texas and Oklahoma, we have taken great strides in dismantling a violent gang with a dangerous and repulsive philosophy.”
“This prosecution is the result of an unprecedented collaboration between the Department of Justice, 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. “As a result of this collaborative effort, we have effectively dismantled this violent organization and sent a clear message 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.”
“Today, DEA and our talented team of prosecutors, agents, investigators, and analysts defeated the Aryan Brotherhood,” said Special Agent in Charge Comeaux. “This important success could not have been realized without the brave and courageous collective voice of the jurors in this case. Their verdict, on the heels of an outstanding investigative effort by all involved, sends a resounding message to this once seemingly impenetrable foe that if you attempt to operate a violent drug trafficking criminal enterprise here in the state of Mississippi, you can and will be “branded” with a guilty verdict for your crimes.”
“The outcome of this investigation is sending a positive message to the community on law enforcement’s commitment to keep the community safe,” said Special Agent in Charge Hester. “These verdicts will send a powerful message to the Aryan Brotherhood as well as all gangs throughout the country that if you prey on the citizens we are sworn to protect, you will spend the remaining years of your life in prison.”
“The convictions in these cases reflect a major disruption of a large organization that incubates in our prison systems and spills over to our streets,” said Special Agent in Charge Alway. “Recognizing and neutralizing these organizations is vitally important and thanks to the joint efforts of our law enforcement partners at the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Mississippi Department of Corrections, the ATF, DEA and United States Marshals Service, Mississippi is much safer.”
On April 13, 2016, a federal jury convicted Frank George Owens Jr., 44, aka State Raised, of D’Iberville, Mississippi, and Eric Glenn Parker, 35, of Richton, Mississippi, both members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi, of engaging in a racketeering conspiracy and murder. Owens was additionally convicted of kidnapping and attempted murder. Parker was additionally convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of methamphetamine. Sentencing will take place before U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson of the Northern District of Mississippi and will be scheduled at a later date.
The following individuals pleaded guilty and have been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing: Northern District of Mississippi
|24.||Bill Overton||Associate||Gun Trafficking||120 months|
|25.||Timothy Deshazier||Associate||Meth Trafficking||60 months|
|26.||Mike Smith||Associate||Meth Trafficking||70 months|
|27.||Michael McPherson||Associate||Meth Trafficking||57 months|
|28.||Tammy Lamb||Associate||Meth Trafficking||43 months|
|29.||Claude Collins||Associate||Meth Trafficking||38 months|
|30.||Jimmy Grimes||Associate||Meth Trafficking||120 months|
|31.||Arthur Fenderson||Meth Trafficking||120 months|
|32.||David Clark||Meth Trafficking||40 months|
|33.||Jeffery Fordham||Meth Trafficking||36 months|
|34.||Scotty Mask||Meth Trafficking||72 months|
|35.||Benjamin Raymond||Meth Trafficking||51 months|
|36.||Justin Applewhite||Meth Trafficking||65 months|
|37.||James Winters||Meth Trafficking||68 months|
|38.||Dean Hill||Meth Trafficking||60 months|
Southern District of Mississippi
|40.||Tommy McClemore||Associate||Meth Trafficking||260 months|
|41.||Kenny Waggoner||Associate||Meth Trafficking||121 months|
|42.||Jen McClemore||Associate||Meth Trafficking||64 months|
The ABM is a violent, “whites only,” prison-based gang with members operating inside and outside of state penal institutions. The Aryan Brotherhood was originally a California-based prison gang that was formed during the 1960s. While the Aryan Brotherhood is a nation-wide gang, semi-autonomous branches have been established in virtually every state in the nation, including Mississippi. The ABM was founded in 1984, and was modeled after and adopted many of the precepts and writings of the Aryan Brotherhood of California. In early 2013, the leadership of the ABM began efforts to unify with the Aryan Brotherhood of California in order to achieve national recognition.
The ABM had a detailed and uniform organizational structure divided into three separate geographic areas of control, the northern, central and southern regions of the state of Mississippi. The state was overseen and directed by a three-member “wheel” commonly referred to as “spokes.” The wheel has ultimate authority in all gang matters. During the times alleged, the wheel of the ABM was comprised of spokes Frank Owens Jr, 44; Perry Mask, 46, of Corinth, Mississippi; Steven Hubanks, 45, of Rienzi, Mississippi; and Brandon Creel, 46, aka Oak, of Ellisville, Mississippi. Each region and prison had an assigned captain and lieutenants, sergeant-at-arms, treasurers, soldiers, associates and female members known as “featherwoods.” The ABM, inside the state correctional facilities and outside, were engaged in racketeering activities, including murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault, money laundering, firearms trafficking and trafficking in marijuana and methamphetamine.
In order to be considered for membership, a person must be sponsored by another member. Once sponsored, a prospective member must serve a probationary term of at least six months, during which time he is referred to as a prospect and his conduct is observed by the members. The prospect is required to sign a “prospect compact,” swear to an oath of secrecy and declare a lifetime commitment to the ABM.
ABM members often had tattoos incorporating one or more Nazi-style symbols as well as state-specific symbols including, but not limited to, the Swastika, the Iron Cross and the letter “13”, which represented M, the 13th letter in the alphabet for the state of Mississippi. The “patch” tattoo was unique to Mississippi members and could only be worn by fully made members who generally ascended to full membership by committing their “blood-in mission” on behalf of the gang. The most coveted tattoo was the Schutzstaffel (SS) lightning bolts, which designated “thunder warrior” or ABM executioner status, a rank that could only be obtained after three successful violent missions.
The ABM 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 gang. Members, and oftentimes associates, were required to follow the orders of higher-ranking members. Only the wheel leaders had the authority to issue orders and mete out member punishment. Failure to perform an order resulted in the assigned member being in violation of their rules, with punishment ranging from a written violation to a beating or death. A violation meant a minor assault; an “S.O.S.” (smash on sight) meant a serious assault that often resulted in the removal of the member’s ABM brand (gang tattoo), often by knife or blow torch; a “K.O.S.” (kill on sight) resulted in the murder of a rival gang member or of an ABM member or associate who committed an egregious violation of gang rules.
The DEA, ATF, FBI and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics investigated the case. The U.S. Marshals Service; Federal Protective Service; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; Mississippi Highway Patrol; Mississippi Bureau of Investigation; Mississippi Department of Corrections; Harrison County, Mississippi, Sheriff’s Office; South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team; Tupelo, Mississippi, Police Department; North Mississippi Narcotics Unit; Tishomingo, Mississippi, County Sheriff’s Office; Lee County, Mississippi, Sheriff’s Office; Forrest County, Mississippi, District Attorney’s Office; Prentiss County, Mississippi, Sheriff’s Office; Jones County, Mississippi, Sheriff’s Office; Harrison County, Mississippi, Sheriff’s Office; and South Mississippi Metro Enforcement Team also provided valuable assistance. The Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices of the Northern and Southern District of Mississippi prosecuted the case.