SACRAMENTO — Court records recently filed by federal prosecutors suggest that members of dangerous prison gangs across California are acquiring contraband cellphones with ease.
Nine members and associates of the Aryan Brotherhood in particular, along with one member of the Mexican Mafia, have been busted with a total of 43 prison cellphones, most of which were recovered over the past three years, according to the records. One of them, Ronald Dean Yandell, 57, an alleged member of the Aryan Brotherhood’s three-man leadership commission, was caught with 10 cellphones from 2016 to 2019, according to the records.
The 10 state prison inmates in question all have one thing in common: They were all charged with racketeering and other offenses in June, as part of a massive federal law enforcement operation targeting the Aryan Brotherhood in California. More than two dozen Aryan Brotherhood members and associates have been charged in four cases, with crimes that include drug sales, five prison murders and four murder plots.