Four top "generals" of the white supremacist Aryan Brotherhood of Texas are among nearly three dozen alleged gang members charged in a sweeping indictment unsealed Friday that accuses them of crimes ranging from capital murder to drug trafficking.
Ten of defendants are facing charges that carry a death penalty.
"Brutal beatings, fire bombings, drug trafficking and murder are all part of ABT's alleged standard operating procedure," Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breurer said in a statement. "As charged, ABT uses violence and threats of violence to maintain internal discipline and to retaliate against those believed to be cooperating with law enforcement."
As examples of the gang's brutality, the indictment says one leader ordered a subordinate to kill a gang prospect and return his severed finger, and another was told to burn a tattoo from a member's arm for not following an order.
All are charged with racketeering conspiracy. Some were charged with involvement in at least three murders, multiple attempted murders, kidnappings, assaults and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.
And by the way, the FBI's press release on this case states that Fort Worth police and the Tarrant County Sheriff's Office are among numerous agencies that helped the investigation. (That information is toward the bottom of the release.)
-- Bill Miller