OCSO Deputies receive commendations for involvement in a six-year investigative effort

Published 12:47 pm Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Special to The Leader

Captain Thomas Ray and Sergeant Joey Jacobs of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office were presented with Certificates of Commendation from Larry Sanders, Resident Agent in Charge of the Beaumont ATF Field Office today at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. Agent Sanders advised the Certificates of Commendation were issued by the United States Department of Justice Organized Crime and Gang Section in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, for their involvement in a six-year investigative effort by a multi-agency task force, into the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) which has led to the conviction of 73 ABT members and associates including 36 high ranking leaders of the ABT, in cases prosecuted in the Southern District of Texas, Eastern District of Texas, Western District of Texas, Northern District of Texas and Western District of Oklahoma.

According to court records, the ABT is a highly structured organization run by five generals, each of whom oversees one of five geographic regions of Texas and sits on a steering committee. Each general supervises two chains of command —one on the “inside” and one on the “outside” of prison. Reporting to each general is an “inside major” and an “outside major” and each major oversees several captains, lieutenants and sergeants-at-arms and numerous soldiers. The ABT enforced its rules and promotes discipline among its members, prospects and associates through murder, attempted murder, Kidnapping, arson, aggravated assault, robbery and threats against those who violated ABT rules or posed a threat to the enterprise.

This Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case is being investigated by a multi-agency task force consisting of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; FBI; U.S. Marshals Service; Federal Bureau of Prisons; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations; Texas Rangers; Texas Department of Public Safety; Montgomery County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; Houston Police Department-Gang Division; Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Office of Inspector General; Harris County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; Atascosa County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; Orange County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; Waller County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office; Alvin, Texas, Police Department; Carrollton, Texas, Police Department; Mesquite, Texas, Police Department; Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office; and the Atascosa County District Attorney’s Office.

The case was prosecuted by David Karpel of the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Ed Gallagher and Tim Braley of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas.

Sheriff Merritt said that he was honored to have two investigators from his office recognized by the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and explosives. Sheriff Merritt also noted that while this case was a big blow to the command structure of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas he understands that someone is always willing to take the place of those sent to prison. He advised his agency will always make a diligent effort to combat any criminal activity in an effort to make Orange County a safe place to live, work, and raise a family.