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D.A. takes safety measures following possible shooting by Aryan Brotherhood in North Texas
by Jason Collins
Apr 04, 2013 | 3842 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE – The killing of the district attorney in North Texas prompted even the head Bee County prosecutor to take a look at what he does and the safety precautions he has taken.

But make no mistake about it. It won’t stop him from prosecuting gang members, he said.

José Aliseda, who took office in January, said that these most recent events would make anyone take stock.

“You hear about it in other countries, but you don’t hear about it here,” he said.

In Colombia, he said, gang members were killing judges, prosecutors and law enforcement officers that stood in their way. The same thing has been going on in Mexico. In America, that just doesn’t happen — usually.

Recent news reports indicate that members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas are being investigated in the killings of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, this past weekend and also one of McLelland’s prosecutors, Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, in January.

However, no one has been charged.

“They don’t know what this is about,” Aliseda said. “It is pure speculation.

“I could see a couple of scenarios.

“One would be retaliation for what this office holder did to someone. I would assume in the scope of their employment.

“Or it is meant to intimidate for something they are going to do in the future.”

Intimidation is a common tactic for prison gangs like the Aryan Brotherhood.

Formed in the ’80s, the gang instills in its members the motto, “God forgives; brothers don’t.”

This group is known for its violence, including all members signing blind faith agreements to carry out orders without question. Refusal could mean a beating or death.

There is some merit to the belief that the gang would want vengeance for the actions of Texas law enforcement.

Shortly after a significant November indictment for various incidents, some of which occurred in Kaufman County, the Department of Public Safety sent out a notice that the gang could be planning retaliation.

“High-ranking members... are involved in issuing orders to inflict ‘mass casualties or death’ to law enforcement officials who were involved in cases where Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (members) are facing life sentences or the death penalty,” according to the DPS bulletin as reported by area newspapers.

Aliseda said that with the state prisons in Bee County, gang members are likely among the population.

“They are in our prison units,” he said.

And its not just the Aryan Brotherhood. That also means Mexican Mafia, Texas Syndicate and Tanglo Blast, all of which are considered even more significant than the brotherhood, according to ranking by the DPS.

Whoever is responsible, Aliseda is confident they will be caught.

“I think the FBI and the state law enforcement will solve this one,” he said.

Aliseda, who sounded Tuesday morning as though he had given this much thought, said that he first began rethinking security when the first killing occurred back in January.

“When I first heard about the incident two months ago, I looked into it, and the law does allow me to carry,” he said. “I talked to my staff to see where they were on the issue.

“I also took steps to safeguard my home.”

Part of that home security plan is simply knowing his neighbors.

“I try to keep a good relationship with my neighbors — a lot of them are law enforcement,” he said.

He added that, while he has taken extra precautions, he isn’t going to live in fear.

“I am taking it seriously,” he said, adding that the killings appear to be localized and not the start of an epidemic like what is occurring in Mexico. “But I am being logical about this.

“I am hoping it is an isolated incident.”

Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.
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