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Aryan Brotherhood gang members charged in California prison murders

By KPIX Staff

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    SACRAMENTO (KPIX) — A federal grand jury has added murder counts to a list of previously filed racketeering charges against five inmate members of the California Aryan Brotherhood for four state prison yard slayings from 2011 to 2018.

U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert said all five men — Ronald Yandell, 58; William Sylvester, 53; Brant Daniel, 46; Pat Brady, 50; and Jason Corbett, 49 — could be sentenced to death in federal prison if convicted of the charges.

“This superseding indictment strikes at the heart of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang with five defendants now facing murder charges that carry with them the possibility of the death penalty,” Talbert said. “This white supremacist gang plagues our communities inside and outside prison and are responsible for some of the most brutal crimes committed within prison walls.”

According to court documents, between 2011 and 2016, Aryan Brotherhood members and associates engaged in racketeering activity, committing multiple acts involving murder and drug trafficking offenses.

Yandell and Sylvester oversaw a significant heroin and methamphetamine trafficking operation from their shared cell. They used smuggled-in cellphones to direct their drug trafficking activity from their prison cell to the streets of Sacramento and other California cities.

The new charges allege that the five Aryan Brotherhood members murdered four other inmates as part of their gang activities and conspired to murder several others.

The indictment charges that on Oct. 7, 2011, Sylvester murdered an inmate at Folsom State Prison. On Aug. 12, 2015, Yandell ordered associates to carry out an order to murder a rival prison gang member at Folsom State Prison.

In addition, the new indictment alleges that gang member Daniel killed an inmate at Salinas Valley State Prison on Oct. 29, 2016. Corbett and Brady murdered an inmate on July 20, 2018, at High Desert State Prison as part of their role in the gang.

“Prison gangs, like the Aryan Brotherhood, cannot hide behind bars and commit heinous act of violence without impunity,” said Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Special Agent in Charge Bob P. Beris. “These additional charges deal another significant blow to this criminal organization.”

If convicted on the murder in aid of racketeering charges, each of the five defendants face a mandatory life sentence, or the possibility of the death penalty. The U.S. Attorney General will decide whether to seek the death penalty at a later time.

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