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Barry Byron MILLS

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


A.K.A.: "The Baron"
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Leader of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang
Number of victims: 6 - 8 +
Date of murders: 1979 - 1997
Date of birth: 1948
Victims profile: John Marzloff / Rober Hogan / Gregory Keefer  / Richard Andreasen / Thomas Lamb / Arva Lee Ray (inmates)
Method of murder: Stabbing with homemade knife
Location: California, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison
 
 
 
 
 
 

indictment

 
 
 
 
 
 

Barry Byron Mills (born 1948) is a leader of the Aryan Brotherhood (AB) prison gang. In March 2006, Mills, along with three other leaders of the Aryan Brotherhood, including Tyler Bingham, were indicted for numerous crimes, including murder, conspiracy, drug trafficking, and racketeering.

Mills is currently serving a life sentence at the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility Prison (ADX) in Florence, Colorado, USA.

 
 

Jury Deadlocks On Aryan Brotherhood Sentencing

Sep 14, 2006

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) ― A federal jury was ordered Thursday to keep trying to reach a verdict in the death penalty phase of the trial of two Aryan Brotherhood leaders convicted of murder, racketeering and conspiracy, after jurors announced they were deadlocked.

The same jurors convicted Barry "The Baron" Mills and Tyler "The Hulk" Bingham in July. Jurors were then asked, in a separate proceeding, to determine whether Mills, 58, and Bingham, 59 should be sentenced to death or life in prison without possibility of parole.

After jurors indicated they were deadlocked, defense attorneys asked U.S. District Judge David O. Carter to declare a mistrial, which would result in Mills and Bingham serving life sentences without parole. They complained that ordering jurors to continue deliberations would be "coercive" toward those holding out against a death penalty ruling.

"The giving of the instruction is coercive because it is clearly aimed at those jurors who have voted for life because those jurors know that a hung jury is a verdict for life," said Michael White, one of Bingham's attorneys.

The jury's foreman told the judge it had been two days since jurors made any progress. The panel had deliberated for 3 1/2 days when it announced it was deadlocked. Jurors didn't say what the extent of the split was, and federal court rules prohibit their being polled.

The case against Mills and Bingham was part of a larger indictment that federal prosecutors hope will dismantle the violent white supremacist which is accused of running powerful gambling operations and drug rings from inside some of the nation's most notorious prisons.

Experts say the full indictment, which lists 32 murders and attempted murders, makes up one of the largest federal capital punishment cases in U.S. history, with more than a dozen people potentially facing execution. More defendants go on trial in Los Angeles later this year.

Mills and Bingham were convicted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law, and of offenses known as Violent Crime in Aid of Racketeering -- laws originally passed to target the Mafia. The so-called VICAR verdicts, which involved the killings of two black inmates in 1997, made Mills and Bingham eligible for the death penalty.

The two were convicted of inciting a race riot at a prison in Lewisburg, Pa., by conspiring to send a secret message to Aryan Brotherhood members. Frank Joyner and Abdul Salaam, alleged members of the DC Blacks prison gang, were killed during the riot.

Government witnesses testified about a secret note, written in invisible ink made from urine, that was passed from Bingham's high-security cell in Florence, Colo., to Lewisburg. The note read: "War with DC Blacks, TD."

While prosecutors argued at trial that it was an order to incite a race war at the Pennsylvania facility, defense attorneys said the note was merely a warning to other gang members after tensions flared between the brotherhood and the D.C. Blacks at a prison in Marion, Ill.

The guilt phase of the trial exposed some of the brotherhood's long-kept secrets, including how members communicate from behind bars and between prisons that are thousands of miles apart.

Some witnesses testified about a plot to kill an inmate who had assaulted the late mob leader John Gotti in prison.

Testimony indicated that Gotti, head of the Gambino crime family, had paid the brotherhood for protection.

One witness said Gotti offered to pay $500,000 for the hit; another testified that he had been passed bullets to hide until the gang could fashion a zip gun with which to shoot Gotti's attacker. The hit never occurred, and Gotti died of cancer in prison in 2002.

Mills and Bingham were also convicted of a count of murder for the killing of Arva Lee Ray, a prisoner slain at the Lompoc, Calif., penitentiary in 1989. They also were convicted of counts of racketeering that included acts of murder and attempted murder.

Mills is currently serving two life terms for murder after nearly decapitating an inmate in 1979. Bingham is behind bars on robbery and drug charges and would have been released in 2010.

The two other men who went on trial with Mills and Bingham - Edgar "The Snail" Hevle and Christopher Overton Gibson - will be sentenced to life in prison.

 
 

Aryan Brotherhood trial opens in California

By Dan Whitcomb and Tori Richards - Tiscali News

15/03/2006

SANTA ANA, California (Reuters) - Four prison gang leaders of the Aryan Brotherhood spent a quarter century trying to control life behind bars through murder and intimidation, a prosecutor said at their racketeering and conspiracy trial on Tuesday.

As the trial began under heavy security in Orange County, defence lawyers countered that their clients had merely banded together to survive amid violent racial warfare in maximum security U.S. prisons.

The case against convicted killer and Aryan Brotherhood chief Barry "The Baron" Mills, his top lieutenant Tyler "The Hulk" Bingham, Christopher Gibson and Edgar "Snail" Hevle is the first salvo in a legal war that prosecutors hope will break the notorious gang.

Prosecutors may seek the death penalty against 16 members of the Aryan Brotherhood, including Mills and Bingham, in a sweeping case that they say ranks as one of the largest death penalty prosecutions in U.S. history. Four other defendants are set for trial in October.

The Aryan Brotherhood "is particularly violent, disciplined, fearsome and committed to dominating the prison population through murder and threats of murder," Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Emmick told jurors in a courtroom ringed by federal officers and packed with reporters.

"They just kill anyone who shows disrespect and doesnít follow their rules," Emmick said. "They succeeded in terrorising the prison population and securing the ABís position of authority and power."

NOTES IN SECRET CODE

Emmick said the four directed a series of murders and assaults throughout the prison system, communicating by notes -- sometimes written in secret code or with invisible ink made with fruit juice or urine.

Michael White, an attorney for Bingham, said violence was common in U.S. prisons but it was not ordered by Aryan Brotherhood leaders. "If (an inmate) thinks they have been disrespected and want to stab somebody, they donít need word from 2,000 miles away -- they just go ahead and act," he said.

White and two other defence attorneys charged that the governmentís case was built on evidence from convicted felons testifying in exchange for favours. Despite its name, the Aryan Brotherhood was not a racist organisation and was formed only to protect its members, White said. "These are guys who got together to survive prison."

The defendants are charged with directing or carrying out about a dozen murders or attempted murders and trying to instigate a race war with black inmates.

Emmick said the convicted Mafia boss John Gotti once hired the Ayran Brotherhood to kill a man who had fought him in a prison yard. But gang members were unable to carry out the contract because they could not find the intended victim.

The four defendants, who are normally housed in some of Americaís toughest prisons, came to court dressed in civilian clothes, wearing glasses and sporting similar bushy moustaches.

They sat, shackled to the floor by chains at their ankles and waists, on a special riser in the courtroom and conferred with their lawyers.

Emmick told jurors the Aryan Brotherhood, also known as "the Brand," began at Californiaís San Quentin state prison in the 196Os and had an exclusive membership of only the most violent and loyal inmates.

It usually required a prospective member to commit murder before they could join -- known as "blood in, blood out" or "making your bones."

An inmate marked for death was called "in the hat," Emmick said, and was typically stabbed with a homemade prison knife.

 
 

Aryan Brotherhood makes home in state

Florence prison now its headquarters

By Jim Hughes - Denver Post

November 24, 2002

When the late New York mobster John Gotti, the "Dapper Don," wanted retribution against a fellow inmate who had attacked him in the federal penitentiary in Marion, Ill., in July 1996, he knew whom to talk to. He went straight to the two inmates running the Marion chapter of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang and told them he wanted the man killed.

They assigned the job to an Aryan Brotherhood member and told two other men to let the gang's "Federal Commission" know about the pending hit.

They got the message out of Marion, the prison once considered the nation's toughest, and the oral memo moved slowly west until September 1997, when it wiggled into Marion's successor institution - the Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, the deepest, most heavily guarded, most closely watched hole in the federal Bureau of Prisons system.

Better known as "Supermax," the so-called ADX is the prototype for the nation's super-maximum-security prisons. And it's now the Aryan Brotherhood's home office, with two senior gang leaders incarcerated there, government prosecutors say.

Inmates Barry Byron Mills, 54, and Tyler Davis Bingham, 55, have been able to continue running the gang from inside ADX, a prison designed and managed to isolate the country's worst criminals. A recent federal indictment alleges that over 23 years, 32 murders have been ordered, 16 of them successful, though Gotti's was not.

Mills and Bingham have helped the Aryan Brotherhood develop many criminal enterprises outside of prison walls across the country, last month's 110-page indictment, unsealed in Los Angeles, alleges.

Once released from prison, Aryan Brotherhood members move marijuana by the truckload across the country, according to the indictment. They shake down drug dealers and other profit-makers on the streets, extending the gang's behind-prison-walls practice of "taxing" profit-making criminal enterprises run by other white inmates.

The gang also has entered into partnerships with Asian gangs to import heroin from Thailand, according to the federal indictment.

Motivated by its collective hunger for power and profit, the gang has dropped much of the racial animus present at its founding in the mid-1960s, the government reports. The gang has been partnering with gangs such as the Mexican Mafia for more than 20 years and has nonwhite members.

'Not a racial organization'

"The purpose of the AB is now power and is not a racial organization as it has been deemed in the past," the FBI reported in 1983. "The AB's continue to be aligned with members of the Mexican Mafia and certain motorcycle type inmates."

While officials have known about the Aryan Brotherhood for decades, that the gang is not only present in ADX but being run from there challenges the public perception of the prison as a place where the nation's worst criminals are sent, never to be heard from again.

ADX opened in 1994, and among its current 414 inmates are Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and several of the terrorists convicted of bombing the World Trade Center in 1993.

Officials at ADX restrict inmates' ability to communicate. The hardest cases are locked down, alone, for 22 1/2 hours a day. Ramzi Yousef, the self-professed mastermind of the Trade Center bombing, is one such inmate, according to documents filed by his lawyer in U.S. District Court last week.

The Aryan Brotherhood's ability to function even at ADX, a place bristling with video cameras and microphones, confirms the worst suspicions of penal-system critics, said Kara Gotsch, public policy coordinator for the American Civil Liberties Union's National Prison Project in Washington, D.C.

"Gangs are a huge problem in this country's prison system, and corrections (officials) just have to work harder to make sure that they're not running these facilities," she said. "When you have numerous gangs running the system, we have a major problem."

Gotsch said the rise of gangs such as the Aryan Brotherhood is the ultimate proof that American prisons are failing to rehabilitate their inmates.

As for further restricting prisoners' ability to get criminal messages in and out of prisons, it probably would be unconstitutional to make ADX any tighter, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Jessner in Los Angeles, who is helping prosecute the Aryan Brotherhood case.

"As a practical matter, unless you cut off all contact with the outside world, people have the ability to send surreptitious messages," he said. "That's essentially impossible to cut off."

According to FBI records, inmates planning crimes often use code words when speaking to visitors and on the telephone.

Some also write letters to people on the outside using "invisible ink." The text of an Aryan Brotherhood communique intercepted in 1984 at the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., was visible only after being pressed with a hot iron, according to the FBI.

It was written in urine, and even that message may have been coded.

Experts also attribute the success of prison gangs to their ability to buy the cooperation of guards. The Aryan Brotherhood indictment alleges that happened at ADX.

Aryan Brotherhood leaders there received key help from former ADX guard Joseph Principe, 42, prosecutors say.

The indictment says Principe filed a false report at the request of Aryan Brotherhood inmates. It also accuses him of arranging for gang leaders to meet, unobserved by other guards, to discuss gang business.

Principe denies both allegations.

He never helped the gang, and it would have been impossible for him to do so, Principe said, adding that the ADX system monitors guards as closely as inmates.

"That's out of the question," Principe said at the state Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison, in Crowley, where he is now an inmate, convicted of assault and menacing outside the prison.

Aryan gang arose in 1960s

The Aryan Brotherhood evolved in the mid-1960s from the Blue Bird Gang, a collective of white inmates at San Quentin, a California state prison. By the mid-1960s, after watching black and Hispanic gangs gain prominence across the California state prison system, Blue Bird members decided to change their name and increase their stature, government reports say.

But it was in the federal system that the Aryan Brotherhood found its first significant revenue stream - from Gotti's predecessors in Italian-American organized crime groups, known collectively as La Cosa Nostra.

Often older than other inmates and serving long sentences, those gangland convicts paid for Aryan Brotherhood muscle to keep them alive in some of the country's most dangerous maximum-security prisons.

"In return, the mobsters were safe while inside the walls and were obligated to offer the AB members a 'slice of the pie' on the streets when they were paroled," said a 1983 report from the FBI in Los Angeles.

In 1980, with approval from the Aryan Brotherhood leadership in California, members who had wound up in the federal system formed the Federal Commission to run the gang in federal prisons.

In the early 1990s the Federal Commission formed a middle-management "council," which now runs the gang's day-to-day operations, freeing up Federal Commission members to consider long-term issues, the indictment says.

Inside prisons, the gang has maintained large gambling and extortion operations, and also oversees the buying and selling of "punks," inmate jargon for sex slaves, the indictment states.

The Federal Commission also presided over race wars that pitted the Aryan Brotherhood against African-American prison gangs such as the D.C. Blacks, wars that raged across the federal prison system in the early 1980s and again in the 1990s, government reports say.

A government informant made a suggestion in 1984, after Aryan Brotherhood members murdered prison guards at Marion and at another prison in Oxford, Wis., that may be connected to the presence today of so many top gang leaders at ADX.

"He feels that the murders of the correctional officers will spread like cancer lesions, and the way to stop these murders is to localize the members of the AB and put them all in a single prison," the FBI reported. "This will stop the spread of the cancer."

Studying their operation

Another theory is that prison officials have brought gang leaders to Florence to better study their operation. Officials at ADX for years have gathered information on the Aryan Brotherhood and other prison gangs from prisoner informants housed in a tier of cells called H Unit, Principe said.

ADX inmate John Greschner filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Denver in 2000 alleging that the same H Unit intelligence-gathering operation Principe described was violating his civil rights.

That "snitch" program - which ADX officials would not confirm exists - is probably the source of prosecutors' belief that he was involved with the gang, Principe said.

He said cooperating inmates often make things up to win privileges from investigators, and that is how his name ended up in the indictment.

ADX Warden Robert Hood declined to comment. His executive assistant, Wendy Montgomery, said she couldn't comment on Principe's allegations because they were the subject of an investigation.

She also refused to talk about how prison officials gather intelligence at ADX or how they ensure its validity.

But Dan Dunn of the Bureau of Prisons in Washington, D.C., said investigators are aware of the games inmates play and have ways of verifying intelligence offered by inmate informants.

The Aryan Brotherhood indictment is the result of a six-year investigation led by federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents in California.

That investigation saw the participation of every ATF office in the country and of other federal and local law enforcement and corrections departments, said Latese Baker, an ATF agent in Los Angeles.

Though they say they consider the indictment a significant achievement, prosecutors are only tentatively optimistic of what effect the case may have on the Aryan Brotherhood and the larger prison culture.

"If in fact some of them are given the death penalty and that represents a large portion of the leadership, that will certainly change the Aryan Brotherhood," said federal prosecutor Jessner from Los Angeles.Experts say the effect will be little, if any - and short-term, at best.

If the indicted prisoners are somehow taken out of the loop, others will simply assume their leadership roles, experts say.

"It's not going to be broken up," said Robert Walker, a retired South Carolina corrections official and gang expert who now consults prisons on gang management. "The groups are not going to go away."

 
 


 

 

 
 
 
 
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