Federal authorities have charged 25 people with murder and other violent crimes at three different California prisons.
Ronald Yandell is the alleged ringleader of a crime spree involving the Aryan Brotherhood.
Prosecutors use federal wiretaps to discover that Yandell enlisted these fellow Aryan Brotherhood gang members to commit a series of crimes from behind prison walls.
Prosecutors say they built a very strong case which involves allegations of murders hits made on other inmates in the state prison system as well as orders given but thwarted to murder other inmates and people outside the prison.
Federal authorities say the crimes also included a drug smuggling operation involving distribution of methamphetamine and heroin both inside and outside prison walls.
Investigators took five years to document how the criminal network used contraband cell phones to send out their orders with prison officials in the dark.
Officials say some of the charges call for the death penalty.