HOUSTON, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- A racketeering indictment naming 34 reputed members of a white supremacist prison gang was unsealed in Texas this week, federal authorities announced.
The defendants in the 17-count indictment included four senior leaders of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.
The are accused of drug dealing, extortion and murder, among other charges.
"Today's takedown represents a devastating blow to the leadership of ABT," Assistant U.S. Attorney General Lanny Breuer told reporters in Houston.
Federal agents and police moved in on the ABT Friday, making 14 arrests, the Department of Justice said in a written statement. Another 15 suspects were already in custody and five remained at large.
The ABT's roots and power base are inside the Texas prison system but the organization allegedly controls various criminal enterprises on the outside. Prosecutors said the gang had no problem with using violence to maintain its control and internal discipline.
Breuer described the slaying of a prospective member that was allegedly ordered to send a message through the ranks about cooperating with law enforcement.
He said one of the defendants told the killers to make the hit "as messy as possible."