WASHINGTON – A member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi (ABM) gang was sentenced to life in prison for his participation in a variety of violent criminal acts, including racketeering conspiracy, murder, kidnapping, methamphetamine production and trafficking and other related offenses.
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 Stephen G. Azzam 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, Special Agent in Charge Donald Alway of the FBI in Mississippi and Director John Dowdy of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (MBN) made the announcement.
“Criminal enterprises like the ABM hold communities hostage with fear and violence, but they can be hard to prosecute because they stretch across jurisdictions,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell. “This case demonstrates our commitment to targeting the leadership and structure of these gangs, building on the successful racketeering prosecutions of the AB in Texas, Oklahoma and now Mississippi. We will not stop until these gangs are dismantled and their members are behind bars.”
“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.”
“Our neighborhoods deserve to exist without fear and intimidation inflicted by violent drug gangs like the Aryan Brotherhood of Mississippi,” said Special Agent in Charge Azzam. “The sentencing of this gang member should be a warning to others who prey on the weak and defenseless through their drug trafficking and violent acts. We will continue to work with all of our law enforcement partners, to relentlessly pursue these violent criminals and drug traffickers plaguing our communities.”
“The substantial sentence imposed today sends a strong message to the defendant and to other violent gangs that they will be held accountable for their criminal activities,” said Special Agent in Charge Hester. “ATF will utilize every available resource to combat violent crime. We will continue to collaborate with all of our federal, state and local law enforcement partners in identifying, disrupting and dismantling the violent gangs that prey on our local communities.”
“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 Donald Alway. “Recognizing and neutralizing these organizations is vitally important, and thanks to the joint efforts of our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, Mississippi is much safer.”
“This verdict and the culmination of this case, again, are another example of the outstanding teamwork of federal, state and local law enforcement,” said Director Dowdy. “The dismantling of this organization represents the continuing commitment in law enforcement to protecting the public safety for all Mississippians.”
Frank George Owens Jr., 44, aka State Raised, of D’Iberville, Mississippi, a member of ABM, was sentenced yesterday to serve an additional 120 months for attempted murder by U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson of the Northern District of Mississippi. On April 13, 2016, Owens was found guilty by a federal grand jury of engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, murder, kidnapping and attempted murder.
The ABM is the Mississippi-centered branch of the Aryan Brotherhood, a violent, “whites only,” prison-based gang with members and associates operating inside and outside of state penal institutions. The ABM is engaged in racketeering activities, including murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, assault, money laundering, firearms trafficking and trafficking in marijuana and methamphetamine, both inside and outside correctional facilities. According to trial evidence, Owens and three co-defendants served at varying times on the ABM’s three-member “wheel” that oversaw and directed ABM activity throughout Mississippi during the conspiracy.
According to evidence presented at trial, Owens and other ABM leaders ordered others to lure an individual to an ABM house so that they could murder him for an unpaid drug debt. Owens and Eric Glenn Parker beat the victim to death and delivered the body to a co-defendant, who burned the victim’s body for days in order to incinerate it. In addition, in a separate incident, Owens ordered the stabbing of a gang member for threatening to rape a child. The gang member was stabbed five times.
Today’s sentencing marks the culmination of a 2.5-year investigation into and prosecution of ABM, which resulted in the conviction of 42 members and associates of the gang. Parker, 35, of Richton, Mississippi, was convicted along with Owens of engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, murder and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute at least 500 grams of methamphetamine. Parker’s sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
The DEA, ATF, FBI and the MBN 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 County, Mississippi, 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 provided valuable assistance in the investigation. The Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices of the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi prosecuted the case.