Aryan Brotherhood Gang Members Common In Smith County - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

07/11/08 - Tyler

Aryan Brotherhood Gang Members Common In Smith County

We have learned from a Smith County constable that there are a large number of white supremacist gang members living in east Texas.

Yesterday, we told you about the arrest of an Aryan Brotherhood member in Smith County.

34 year old Tracy Ledbetter was arrested Wednesday at the America's Best Value Inn.

That's located on Highway 155 near I-20 in Smith County.

Ledbetter was found with what authorities say could have been an abduction kit, including duct tape, knives, and rope.

KLTV 7 News' Courtney Lane met with the constable who made this arrest today.

Smith County constable John Smith has been investigating gangs in East Texas for over a year. He says we have an alarming number of Aryan brotherhood prison gang members here in east Texas.

He says a lot of them are actually out on parole in Smith County.

Friday, he showed KLTV 7 the things found in Tracy Ledbetter's hotel room.

Constable Smith says he was concerned to see all of this together - knives, a roll of duct tape, rope, meth, plus stolen IDs, Social Security cards, and debit cards.

Constable Smith also told us that Aryan Brotherhood members are in it for life.

He says once some are released from the penitentiary, they'll still carry out orders from inside prison walls.

"They go to prison and join these gangs for protection against the other gangs...They network really well, they take orders from inside the prison to their soldiers out on the street. It's mostly meth, burglaries, robberies, every type of crime."

As for Ledbetter, he remains in the Smith County Jail tonight.

Constable Smith expects more charges to be filed against him, though they're waiting on the lab results to come back to issue those.

Ledbetter is already charged with fraud and credit card abuse from the arrest Wednesday.

Courtney Lane, reporting. clane@kltv.com

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