Texas convicts 89 white supremacist gang members & associates
On Monday, in the Northern District of Texas, US District Judge Jane Boyle sentenced the 89th and final defendant in a case that has lasted two years.
Members convicted in the lawsuit belong to groups such as the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, the Aryan Circle, the Irish Mob, the Dirty White Boys, the White Knights, and Peckerwood.
Assistant US Attorney P.J. Meitl prosecuted.
The final defendant, Jeramy Weatherall, 29, of Dallas, Texas, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. Weatherall pleaded guilty in March to one count of possession of Methamphetamine with the intent to distribute. The combined sentence for all members convicted in the case is 1,070 years in federal prison, a press release stated.
Two other people were also charged in the case. However, one is a fugitive believed to be somewhere in Mexico, while the other died before the trial began.
Each of the defendants were collectively held accountable for 956 kilograms worth of methamphetamine, which carried a conservative street value of just under $10 million. Each were also held accountable for the use of 88 firearms and dangerous weapons, according to a Department of Justice press release.
The 89 defendants had previously been convicted of 736 combined crimes. Of the convictions, 234 were drug related; 76 were violent offenses; 36 were gun offenses; seven were sex or child abuse offenses; 37 were burglaries and one was convicted of murder.
A total of 15 defendants were considered “career offenders” under the US Sentencing Guidelines. In addition, some had as many as 25 previous convictions. Only six of the 89 people had no prior convictions.
The investigation of each of these groups was led by the DPS-CID Gang Unit and the Dallas Police Department Criminal Intelligence Unit. The gang unit and the department had assistance from the Garland Police Department Neighborhood Police Officer Unit, the Collin County Sheriff’s Office, the Mesquite, Sherman, Denison and Sulphur Springs Police Departments, in cooperation with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation.
The gangs named in the lawsuit are said to be involved in organized crime activities. But, in recent years, the ideology of these groups has been overshadowed by their traditional criminal ventures, including drug dealing. The defendants convicted in this case were high ranking members in their respective organizations.
“The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas and the Aryan Circle have essentially been decimated in north Texas,” John Parker, US Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, said. “The outstanding collaborative work of the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Dallas Police Department helped ensure that each of the 89 defendants who were arrested have now been convicted and sentenced,” according to the press release.
Interim Dallas Police Chief David Hughes lauded the partnerships that helped to convict the 89 defendants.
“The Dallas Police Department is proud to have participated in this investigation that resulted in 89 convictions of dangerous gang members who terrorized communities with their criminal activity,” he said. “It is a great example of the success of local and Federal Law Enforcement working together with the United States Attorney to ensure that the worst career criminals are brought to justice.”
Texas Department of Public Safety Region 1 Commander Jack Webster, also weighed in on the importance of the joint efforts in the investigation.
“Strong law enforcement partnerships and the hard work of all those involved led to a successful investigation and the resulting prosecutions,” he said. “We continue to work with our law enforcement partners to proactively protect the citizens of Texas in an ever-changing threat environment.”
The convictions come two days after white nationalists held a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which subsequently led to the deaths of two police officers and a 32-year-old woman.