Female Aryan Brotherhood Fugitive Arrested

  • September 5, 2003

Marty Laine Foakes, aka Marty Donohue, allegedly a key figure in the Aryan Brotherhood (AB), a violent racist prison gang, was arrested near San Francisco on September 3, 2003, after her location was discovered during a drug investigation in the Bay Area.

The Aryan Brotherhood, founded in 1964, is one of the most well-known prison gangs in the United States, heavily involved in running the illegal drug trade in many prisons. It combines the racism and anti-Semitism of traditional hate groups with the methods and goals of organized crime. AB members have been convicted for many violent crimes, including murder and attempted murder; in 2002, 40 members of the gang were indicted on federal charges related to 16 murders and 12 attempted murders.

Foakes, 52, one of those indicted, faces racketeering and murder charges. According to authorities, Foakes, who lived in Rodeo, California, was a "point person" for the gang. Prison gangs rely on non-prisoners to help them smuggle goods into the prisons, to communicate between prisoners or with people outside the prisons, and generally to run their operations. Women often take on these key roles.

Because of the restrictions on prisoners, especially known prison gang members, prison gangs often have to resort to roundabout ways of conducting their illegal activities. In 1995, according to the AB indictment, AB leader Barry Mills mailed a letter to Shirley Crowder, asking her to give Foakes' telephone number to Jeff Fort, leader of the El Rukns street gang. In 1997, AB member Ronald Yandell sent a letter to Patty Yandell, asking her to have Foakes contact AB leader Barry Mills to tell him that Yandell and another AB member were ready to "go to war" against another gang, the DC Blacks.

Among the activities Foakes is accused of engaging in is helping to manage the AB's connections with the Mafia. Jailed Philadelphia Mafia leader Nicodemo Scarfo, for example, allegedly sent Foakes coded letters to be delivered to Barry Mills.

When the federal indictment was released in October 2002, Foakes' whereabouts was not known. Authorities began negotiating with her attorney for her surrender, but it never took place.

For more information on racist prison gangs, see 'Dangerous Convictions', ADL's comprehensive report on prison extremism.