PUTNAMVILLE -- Two inmates at Putnamville Correctional Facility were charged Friday with Class D felony criminal gang activity and battery resulting in bodily injury.
The charges stem from an incident in which Aaron W. Wood, 30, assaulted Putnamville Sgt. Kevin Clark, Putnamville executive assistant Alisia Lawrence said, supposedly at the behest of Michael L. Campbell II, 34.
"Sgt. Clark was assaulted by offender Wood, and the order was allegedly given by offender Campbell, who is a confirmed member of the Aryan Brotherhood," Lawrence said.
Both inmates also face being deemed habitual offenders, which could significantly enhance their sentences on the charges.
The Aryan Brotherhood, also known as the AB or The Brand, is a white prison gang numbering about 15,000 members in and out of prison, online encyclopedia Wikipedia said. In March 2006, four leaders of the Aryan Brotherhood were indicted for numerous crimes, including murder, conspiracy, drug trafficking, racketeering and dog fighting.
According to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, although the gang makes up less than 1 percent of the prison population, it is responsible for up to 26 percent of murders in the federal prison system.
Organization of the Aryan Brotherhood at lower levels varies from prison to prison. For example, in the Arizona prison system, members are known as "kindred" and organize into "families."
A "council" controls the families. Kindred may recruit other members, known as "progeny," and serve as a mentor for the new recruit.
Like most prison gangs, Aryan Brotherhood members mark themselves with distinctive tattoos. Designs commonly include the words "Aryan Brotherhood", the acronym "AB", 666, SS sig runes, spiderwebs near the elbow, shamrocks, and other Nazi and Celtic iconography.
Until the 1960s, most prisons in the United States were racially segregated. As prisons began to desegregate, inmates organized along racial lines. The Aryan Brotherhood is believed to have formed in 1964 at San Quentin State Prison, with prosecutors of cases against the gang saying it was formed in reaction to the Black Panthers.
Campbell was sentenced March 14 to five years, 11 months and 29 days for Class C felony battery. At the time, he was already serving two separate two-year sentences for two counts of Class B felony armed robbery, both of which he was convicted for on Oct. 18, 2007.
Campbell's criminal history also includes prison stints for two other Class B felony armed robbery charges on Aug. 19, 2003. He was sentenced to seven years each on those convictions and was released from prison in May 2007.
According to the Indiana Department of Corrections Web site, Campbell's projected release date from Putnamville is Feb. 3, 2012.
Wood is serving a 10-year sentence for Class B felony dealing in cocaine or narcotics and a three-year sentence for Class D felony dealing in marijuana. He was convicted on both charges on Aug. 27, 2007. His projected release date is Aug. 24, 2017.
Campbell previously server prison time for possession of a controlled substance, maintaining a common nuisance and trespassing. His most recent release from prison was on May 16, 2003.
No court dates have been set for Wood or Campbell.