The U.S. Justice Department has handed out over 900 years of prison time to members of white supremacist group the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.
Nearly 75 of the group’s members have been convicted after a six-year federal probe aimed to dismantle the organization. A federal prosecutor says the convictions have backed the group into a corner, and the organization is now in “absolute chaos.”
Mark Potok, editor in chief of the Intelligence Report for the Southern Poverty Law Center, says that the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas – not to be confused with the larger, more well-known Aryan Brotherhood – isn’t just limited to prisons, although that’s where it got its start.
“The (Aryan Brotherhood of Texas) has a very extensive network outside the walls,” Potok says. “It’s not merely a prison problem anymore. It’s basically threatening everybody else in Texas.”
He says that the crackdown has likely made a dent in the group’s operations, but the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas won’t go away overnight.
“I think (the federal operation has) had quite an effect,” Potok says. “It is certainly true that these gangs have a way of coming back. They have an awful lot of very dedicated soldiers.”
Members in the past have feared talking to authorities because of the gang’s brutal tactics of keeping members in line. But during this federal probe, more people cooperated with authorities. Potok says that destabilized the organization.
“They’re very disciplined, or at least they have been over the years before many of them turned on one another during this federal prosecution,” Potok says. “So we’ll see if they survive it.”
Post by Alexandra Hart.