Eastern District of California | Aryan Brotherhood Associate Pleads Guilty to a Racketeering Conspiracy that Included Murders, Assaults, and Drug Trafficking from Within California Prisons

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Justin Petty, 41, of Los Angeles, an associate of the Aryan Brotherhood (AB) prison gang, pleaded guilty nowadays to conspiracy to participate in a racketeering company and conspiracy to distribute heroin and methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert declared.

In accordance to court files, between 2011 and 2016, AB associates and associates engaged in racketeering activity, committing several functions involving murder and drug trafficking offenses. AB members Ronald Yandell and Billy Sylvester oversaw a important heroin and methamphetamine trafficking procedure from their shared prison mobile. They utilised smuggled cellphones to immediate their drug trafficking exercise from their prison mobile to the streets of Sacramento and other California metropolitan areas. Using a contraband cellphone, Yandell and Sylvester communicated with AB members and associates to immediate drug trafficking activities, membership in the AB, order murders, and oversee other prison activities.

In June 2019, sixteen defendants ended up indicted for federal racketeering (recognised as the “RICO” statute) and other costs. The allegations include things like murders, drug trafficking and other violent crimes. Nine of the defendants were being inmates in California prisons, and six of all those were serving existence sentences for murder.

In accordance to the plea arrangement, between August and September 2016, Petty conspired with AB members at two distinctive condition prisons – CSP-Sacramento and High Desert condition prison – to mail packages made up of foods stuffed with contraband objects into each and every prison by Petty’s employer, a contractor approved by CDCR to pack and mail sealed offers to inmates.

On Sept. 6, 2016, Petty’s deal was intercepted at CSP-Sacramento and identified to incorporate 3 cellphones, two phone charging cables, six grinding discs, 7 lighters, one particular cellphone battery, 7 compact screw motorists – five with flat heads and two with Phillips heads, two Bluetooth ear items, 10 smaller metallic saw blades, far more than 20 grams of methamphetamine, and 15 grams of heroin. The contraband merchandise have been hidden within food stuff packages, like a box of Quaker Oats, a box of Honey Buns snacks, a box of fudge brownies, and similar items. The contraband was concealed in a method created to prevent detection by prison staff members who would have searched the box’s contents just before providing them to the inmate.

In the same way, on Sept. 6, 2016, one more package from Petty was intercepted [at which prison] and identified to consist of about 10 cellphones, far more than 200 grams of heroin, and 120 grams of methamphetamine. The cellphones and managed substances ended up hidden inside bins of Oatmeal Creme Pies and fudge brownies. They have been hid in a manner built to stay clear of detection by prison employees who would have searched the box’s contents ahead of providing them to the inmate addressee.

Other defendants who have entered guilty pleas as component of this investigation contain:

Nickolas Perez – RICO conspiracy and drug trafficking conspiracy

Donald Mazza – RICO conspiracy and conspiracy to commit murder in help of racketeering

Travis Burhop – RICO conspiracy and conspiracy to dedicate murder in help of racketeering

Samuel Keeton – RICO conspiracy and drug trafficking conspiracy and

Kristen Demar – RICO conspiracy and drug trafficking conspiracy.

This circumstance is the merchandise of an investigation by the DEA with aid from the California Office of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Vallejo Police Section, the U.S. Marshals Services, the Bureau of Alcoholic beverages, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Business, and the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office environment.

Petty is scheduled for sentencing prior to U.S. District Choose Kimberly J. Mueller on Might 8, 2023. Petty faces a highest statutory penalty of existence in prison and a high-quality up to $10 million. The precise sentence, having said that, will be established at the discretion of the court docket after thing to consider of any relevant statutory variables and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which get into account a amount of variables.

This situation is aspect of an Organized Criminal offense Drug Enforcement Process Forces (OCDETF) Strike Power Initiative, which offers for the establishment of permanent multi-agency activity power groups that work side-by-side in the identical locale. This co-positioned model permits agents from distinct agencies to collaborate on intelligence-pushed, multi-jurisdictional operations to disrupt and dismantle the most important drug traffickers, income launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal businesses.