Sixteen members of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang were charged as part of an investigation into drug trafficking and murders both inside and outside prison, the Justice Department announced Thursday. Nine California inmates were arrested for alleged “federal racketeering” along with “murders, drug trafficking and other violent crimes” from inside prison walls. Inmate Ronald Yandell, 56, and his cellmate, 51-year-old William Sylvester, directed a large “heroin and methamphetamine trafficking operation,” ordered murders, and oversaw Aryan Brotherhood membership from contraband cell phones, prosecutors allege. As part of the gang’s activities, five inmates and rival gang members at three other prisons were murdered, according to prosecutors. The Aryan Brotherhood also allegedly plotted to “murder several others.” Their drug-trafficking operation allegedly operated in “Sacramento, Southern California, Missouri, Las Vegas and elsewhere.” Five others were also arrested, and two others had warrants issued for their arrest.
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