Racketeering Charges Against 16 in Aryan Brotherhood Prison Gang

Federal prosecutors charged 16 members of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang Thursday with racketeering in support of murders and drug trafficking inside California prisons.

The indictment alleges at least five other inmates were murdered as part of the alleged conspiracy and that they smuggled cellphones into prison to run a significant heroin and methamphetamine trafficking operation.

“Today we are announcing a significant blow to the leadership of a violent criminal enterprise run from inside California prisons,” said US Attorney McGregor Scott in Sacramento. “The charges allege multiple murders of those who run afoul of the gang, as well as an active trafficking operation that spans multiple counties and states,” he said.

The complaint alleges inmate William Sylvester, 51, carried out an order to murder a rival gang member at Folsom State Prison in 2011 and a second AB associate carried out a second murder at Folsom in 2015. On gang orders another AB associate allegedly murdered an inmate at High Desert State Prison in Susanville and another inmate was killed at Salinas Valley prison. Both killings were in 2016.

In 2018, a fifth inmate was killed at High Desert allegedly on gang orders. The complaint also describes multiple additional murder plots that were not carried out.

The allegations also include an attorney, Kevin MacNamara, 39, of La Palma, along with a woman posing as a paralegal, who allegedly visited Sylvester in Folsom Prison in 2016 allegedly to smuggle meth, cellphones, and tobacco to the inmate.

The drug trafficking allegedly controlled by the Aryan Brotherhood operated on the streets of Sacramento, in Southern California, Missouri, and Las Vegas, the government says.

Named in the complaint along with Sylvester are: Ronald Yandell, 56; Daniel Troxell, 66; Travis Burhop, 46; Brant Daniel, 44; Donald Mazza, 48; Pat Brady, 48; Michael Torres, 55; and Jason Corbett. 47. Five others, including MacNamera, were also arrested as part of the investigation: Samuel Keeton, 40; Jeanna Quesenberry, 52; Kristen Demar, 44; Justin Petty, 37, and warrants out for Kathleen Nolan, 64, and Matthew Hall, 50.

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