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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Aryan Brotherhood of Texas Gang Member Convicted in Houston of Racketeering Charges

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Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) gang member David Harlow was found guilty today by Senior United States District Judge Ewing Werlein Jr in Houston of racketeering aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit racketeering aggravated assault for his role in the 2008 beating of a gang prospect. The guilty verdict was announced by Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson for the Southern District of Texas. According to evidence presented at trial, Harlow, 43, aka “Bam Bam,” was a member of the ABT, a powerful race-based, state-wide organization that operated inside and outside of state and federal prisons and elsewhere in the United States.   The evidence showed that the ABT was established in the early 1980s within the Texas prison system and modeled itself after and adopted many of the teachings and writings of the Aryan Brotherhood, a California-based prison gang that was formed in the California prison system during the 1960s.   According to court filings, the ABT was primarily concerned with the protection of white inmates and white supremacy/separatism.   Over time, however, the ABT expanded its criminal enterprise to include illegal activities for profit.   The evidence presented at trial also showed that the ABT enforced its rules and promoted discipline among its members, prospects and associates through murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, assault, robbery and threats against those who violate the rules or pose a threat to the enterprise.   Members, and oftentimes associates, are required to follow the orders of higher-ranking members, often referred to as “direct orders.”   All of Harlow’s 11 co-defendants, including Cooke, previously pleaded guilty to violent crimes in aid of racketeering. Harlow faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.   Sentencing for Harlow is scheduled for June 15, 2012, before Judge Werlein.    This case is being investigated by FBI’s Multi-Agency Gang Task Force consisting of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the FBI; the United States Marshals Service; the Texas Rangers, the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Montgomery County, Texas, Precinct 4 Constables Office; the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department; the Houston Police Department-Gang Division; and the Harris County, Texas Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by David Karpel of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant United States Attorney Jay Hileman of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

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