‘Aryan Brotherhood’ gang members plead guilty to plotting murders, other violent crimes
Associated Press, Feb. 3, 2003
SAN FRANCISCO – Five members of the Aryan Brotherhood gang and one female accomplice pleaded guilty Monday to racketeering, drug and attempted murder charges stemming from a series of violent crimes often orchestrated from state prisons, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
A seventh defendant, Paul “Cornfed” Schneider, the alleged mastermind behind many of the crimes and owner of two dogs involved in a fatal attack on a San Francisco woman, is still awaiting trial.
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In entering the pleas, the Aryan Brotherhood members admitted committing crimes to maintain their position in the white supremacist gang.
They took responsibility for planning or attempting eight contract killings, committing an armed robbery in which a Eureka family was taken hostage and conspiring to smuggle methamphetamine into Pelican Bay State Prison.
Prosecutors were not available Monday to provide details of the crimes.
The guilty pleas enabled at least one of the defendants to avoid prosecution on a capital murder charge in the 1995 death of Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Frank Trejo. The federal indictment had originally charged Schneider’s girlfriend, Brenda Moore, with helping another convicted gang murder kill Trejo after committing a string of offenses allegedly ordered by her imprisoned boyfriend.
Most of the defendants are already serving time in state prisons on other convictions. They face new sentences ranging from 87 months to 135 years when they are sentenced on April 28. As part of their pleas, they agreed to be transferred to federal prisons before serving the remainders of their state sentences, a concession prosecutors sought in order to disperse the gang.
A trial date for Schneider has not been set. He faces 13 counts that include Trejo’s murder, attempting to murder two more people and conspiring to kill three others. He faces an additional 50 years in prison.
Schneider and his Pelican Bay State Prison cellmate owned Hera and Bane when the huge dogs killed Diane Whipple outside her San Francisco apartment door. The dogs were being cared for by Robert Noel and Marjorie Knoller, married attorneys who adopted Schneider.