The Kaufman County District Attorney's office where the prosecutors worked helped indict 34 members of the ABT — a racist prison gang the Anti-Defamation League calls the "most violent extremist group in the United States today."
Despite its name, ABT is not technically part of the California-based white supremacist prison gang known as the Aryan Brotherhood, according to the Anti-Defamation League. (In fact, the larger Aryan Brotherhood denied the ABT's application for membership with the larger "Brotherhood," the Southern Poverty Law Center told CNN recently.)
The ABT, which began in the 1980s, has thousands of members operating both in and out of prisons in Texas. It's been blamed for 29 "street killings" since 2000, according to the ADL, and it allegedly runs a criminal conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.
How is it possible for a gang to run a criminal enterprise mostly behind prison walls? A federal indictment against one of its members posted by the Houston Chronicle provides some insight into how the ABT functions.
The most notable point is that ABT relies heavily on women "associates."
"Female associates functioned as communication hubs, facilitating gang communication among imprisoned members throughout the penal system through the use of the telephone, Internet, and United States mail," the indictment says.
The ABT, which offers "protection" to white members, has five "generals" spread throughout the state of Texas, according to the indictment. In turn, they each appoint majors, who in appoint captains and lieutenants — who then appoint sergeants.
Prospective ABT members allegedly had to sign a "blind-faith commitment" to obey orders from their superiors.
ABT also seems hell-bent on seeking retribution against members who turn their backs on the gang, the Houston Chronicle has reported. Their tattoos read: "God forgives. Brothers don't," according to the Chronicle.
The group doesn't appear to have a history of seeking retribution against prosecutors and other law enforcement members though, several experts recently told the Daily Beast.
If the ABT is responsible for the back-to-back killing of two Texas prosecutors, the assassinations would be an unprecedented and scary new revenge tactic for ABT.
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