Custom Search

Translate

GANGSQUAD CUSTOM SEARCH

Custom Search

Search over 3000 Gang Reports

Custom Search
Loading...

Monday, 18 July 2011

Aryan Brotherhood of Texas leader who wanted the man "in intensive care or dead by midnight

Fraught with a wild temper unleashed by a wicked methamphetamine addiction, April Flanagan was sent to prison just months ago for conspiring to help blow the heads off a disgraced Aryan gang member and his girlfriend in East Texas.
The order came from an Aryan Brotherhood of Texas leader who wanted the man "in intensive care or dead by midnight."
Across the state in Lubbock, Chasity Clark is accused of helping her husband, a general in an arm of the same gang, run an organized criminal enterprise and ditching gang computer files before police could confiscate them.
But neither can compare to Tanya Smith, whose Bonnie-and-Clyde-like run with her man began in Houston and ended with two police detectives killed, the boyfriend shot dead, and Smith serving life in prison.
Prosecutors contend the three women are part of the little-known world of "featherwoods," a nickname often worn with audacious pride as they live and die in the trenches of "white-boy gangs."
The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas and the Aryan Circle were born in Texas prisons a generation ago to defend white inmates. They have since expanded to include a variety of criminal enterprises with influence in Houston, as well as across the state.
And the collective stories of the women said to be featherwoods, according to court records, offer yet another gritty tapestry of lawlessness, bad deeds and dead ends.
"They have grown up in the lifestyle," said Brandon Bess, a Texas Department of Public Safety agent specializing in gangs. "I would say they were destined for it."
Their crimes and times get little publicity, although court cases reveal they stand alongside their men through murders, robberies and drug trafficking — or even when they are passed around like property among gang members, beaten, abused and sometimes killed.
One such gruesome demise came to Tonia Porras when she was 29. Her head was wrapped in duct tape and her body methodically stabbed 26 times, tortured to death by an ex-boyfriend just out of the Harris County Jail.
Lured police to deaths
Few featherwoods have shown such a flair for flagrant criminal conduct as Smith, 27, now in prison for life.
Smith, who lived in La Porte, was inked with rage, from the large red swastika in the center of her back to the black one atop her left foot. She is serving two life sentences for the murders of two Bastrop, La., police officers killed at a motel in 2007 after a run from the law.
Smith lured them into Room 111, where her armed Aryan Circle boyfriend, Dennis Clem, was hiding in the bathroom. The renegade couple had already driven at least 800 miles on a zigzag journey from Houston, where Clem used a semi-automatic rifle to kill two black teens, one 15 and the other 19, during a confrontation.
Among the supplies in the gray Chrysler sedan they used to flee Houston was a sawed-off shotgun and other guns, wrapped in a red blanket and stashed on the rear floorboard. A police radio scanner helped them evade authorities near San Antonio, when they bolted back east toward Louisiana.
"It was real Bonnie-and-Clyde stuff," recalled Geary Aycock, a Louisiana prosecutor. "They hit the ground running and did not mind doing whatever they had to do to protect each other."
The pair met in the Rio Grande Valley, where Smith grew up, and were busted together in 2005 trying to sneak through a Border Patrol highway checkpoint with a gun and marijuana hidden on a commercial bus. After brief prison stints, they were together again, breaking the law, on the run.
Video from the motel's surveillance camera captured images of the detectives driving up to the couple's room across the street from the police department. The police were not even looking for Clem and Smith, but rather an unrelated burglary suspect.
Smith let them in. Seconds later, they came running out; Clem gunned them down on the sidewalk before either could draw a gun.
Dressed in white and wearing sunglasses, Smith slipped away.
She was arrested two days later, hiding in a Houston mobile home park considered a haven for Aryan gangsters.
Shirtless and with a pistol in each hand, Clem charged outside and was cut down by police gunfire.
"Many people talk of going out in a blaze of glory, but not many truly do it," said a woman who is a part of an Aryan gang and asked that her name not be printed. "I just wish we had him with us and all those lives hadn't been lost."
Paths of desperation
Smith declined a request for an interview, relaying a message through a friend that she did not want to relive dark chapters in her life and is pursuing a theology degree.
Like many men associated with the gangs, the women's lives often follow predictable paths of desperation.
They weave and punch their way through broken homes, drug addiction, low-wage jobs and bouts with the law that see them - as well as those around them - in and out of incarceration.
"As far as the women are concerned … you wonder what is in it for them," said John Bales, the top federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of Texas, where a dozen Aryan Brotherhood of Texas members and featherwoods have recently been convicted of federal crimes.
"They are fascinated by the culture, usually have drug issues themselves, and there is a strange hold over the women that the guys have," Bales continued. "There is usually no good end to it."
As for April Flanagan, 31, who supplied the shotgun used in the planned double homicide, she is adamant that she does not share racist views and insisted that she got involved with Aryan Brotherhood members only to buy drugs.
She grew up with curfews and rules, said her mother, who noted that Flanagan was a phlebotomist and tried to take care of elderly relatives, as well as continue with school, when she began using methamphetamine.
"At that point in her life, she was so deep in the drug world that she was lost," said her mother, Dana Griggs.
She said her daughter pleaded guilty rather than stand trial and face a lengthier prison sentence.
Flanagan wore an orange jail jumpsuit and shackles during a Beaumont hearing in which she was sentenced to 15 years in prison; a half-dozen family members looked on while sitting side by side.
"She was basically backed into a corner, not given a chance to make facts known … ," said Griggs, who also denied Flanagan is a racist.
Dangerous ideology
Dena Marks, associate director for the Anti-Defamation League's southwest region, which includes Houston, said it is not just the gangs' crimes that are dangerous, but their ideology.
"It is important for people to understand that some of these acts are motivated by white supremacy," Marks said, noting that the ADL monitors both the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas and the Aryan Circle.
In another recent instance of women involved in Aryan Brotherhood brutality, Rachel Tutt in May was sentenced to 10 years in prison for her part in the 2009 kidnapping and beating of a Lufkin woman.
The victim's gang member boyfriend, Stephen "Cave Man" Wallace, thought she was trying to dump him.
Tutt, who was having an affair with Wallace, drove the car while he beat the kidnapped woman. They drove to a cemetery, where the beating continued.
She lived to testify; her attackers went to prison.
Tonia Porras, born in the Texas coastal town of Port Arthur, nearly escaped the featherwood life in 2005. Instead, the past caught her in a grisly way.
She had broken up with her Aryan Brotherhood boyfriend, Corey Schuff.
Fueled by jealousy and perhaps a rumor that Porras was talking to police, Schuff and another gang member attacked her.
Schuff stabbed her repeatedly, leaving wounds a medical examiner said were consistent with torturing someone to make them talk.
Porras' petite body was found lying beside the stuffed animals belonging to her child, who was not home, Jefferson County prosecutor Ramon Rodriguez Jr. said.
"If there were merciful forces at work, bludgeoning to the head knocked her out," he said. "Otherwise she suffered … what could be described as torture wounds."
During Schuff's trial, a dispatcher testified that Porras had made a panicked call asking for increased sheriff's patrols near her home after her ex-boyfriend was released from jail.
"She told me she definitely believed he was going to kill her," the dispatcher testified. "I believe he promised her he would do it."

0 comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails
The one with Custom Search
Try our Custom Search , bookmark our custom search.

  © Blogger template ProBlogger Template by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP