Federal authorities in Texas arrested Christopher Allen Brietzke, 24, charging him with possession of over 90 stolen credit card numbers. Brietzke, a member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, the largest white supremacist prison gang in the state, joins seven other suspects in San Antonio's biggest identity theft case.
On May 6, 2009, the South Texas Regional Task Force arrested Brietzke just as he was about to be released from custody on an unrelated murder charge on which a grand jury decided not to indict.
The identity theft case involves numerous purchases made with phony credit and debit cards. The scheme's alleged perpetrators are suspected of stealing 17,000 credit card receipts attached to registration sheets from the Emily Morgan Hotel in San Antonio. Using the credit card numbers, the suspects allegedly created bogus credit and debit cards which they then used to purchase items at local stores.
In 2008, drug investigators discovered some of the items and uncovered the system used to produce the phony credit and debit cards.
Brietzke is being held without bond. He faces a maximum sentence of ten years if convicted. The Task Force is continuing the investigation and further arrests may be forthcoming. Some of the other suspects may also have ties to the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.
Brietzke is not the first Aryan Brotherhood of Texas member or affiliate to face identity theft charges. In August 2008, law enforcement officers in Amarillo, Texas, arrested three group affiliates for their suspected involvement in an identity theft and narcotics trafficking ring. Identity theft is becoming an increasingly common crime for racist prison gang members across the country.
The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas is the largest white supremacist prison gang in Texas, with over 900 incarcerated members and hundreds more on the streets in Texas and neighboring states. Members have engaged in criminal activity ranging from hate crimes to violent assaults to narcotics violations. The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas is not related to the similarly-named Aryan Brotherhood, with which it is frequently confused.