Earlier this year, a scene from a bad cop drama played out in a Grand Prairie home where two white supremacists had sent a runner to buy $600 worth of meth from a drug dealer. The drug dealer took the money but refused to give the runner any drugs. When the runner reported this to the white supremacists, they drove over to confront the dealer. There, the two white supremacists, members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, learned that the dealer was a member of an ABT splinter gang called the Aryan Circle. The dealer convinced his new allies that the runner had stolen their money. Over the course of several days, the three men, along with a woman, held the runner captive, torturing him and, at one point, cutting off part of his left index finger with a hatchet. Finally, the ABT members directed their new Aryan Circle compatriot to kill the runner. The drug dealer released the runner instead.
The incredible-sounding story was laid out this week in a 24-page federal indictment unsealed on Monday that charged 57 different people involved with white supremacist gangs with being part of a vast criminal conspiracy that involved drug trafficking, kidnapping, and torture. On Monday, U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox announced the arrests of 42 individuals last week. Of the 57 defendants listed in the indictment, nine others had been previously arrested for non-related reasons, while six individuals are still at large. The indictment chronicles years of criminal activity, primarily involving the trafficking of meth from as early as 2015. In total, more than 190 kilograms of meth, about $376,500, and 31 firearms were seized by agents, Nealy Cox said.
“Not only do white supremacist gangs subscribe to a repugnant, hateful ideology, they also engage in significant, organized, and violent criminal activity,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “Under the Trump administration, the Department of Justice has targeted every violent criminal gang member in the United States. The quantities of drugs, guns, and money seized in this case are staggering.”
A majority of the defendants are members of white supremacist gangs, specifically ABT; the Aryan Circle; the Aryan Brotherhood; the Soldiers of Aryan Culture; the Dirty White Boys; and “Peckerwoods,” a term used to describe people who have white supremacist views and ideologies, but who don’t wish to be a member of a specific gang—particularly in prison, where a majority of these white supremacist gangs originated. The Aryan Brotherhood is said to have originated in California prisons in the sixties. The indictment notes that some of the white supremacist gangs have been known to set aside their racist ideologies for the sake of “business interests.” The document names 34 defendants involved with white supremacist gangs and six people from a gang known as Puro Tango Blast or Tango Blast, a street and prison gang made up predominantly of Hispanic members.
The defendants were part of a loose network in North Texas; not all of the individuals knew each other, but they operated through an array of stash houses throughout the area and made drug transactions over the phone. While the charges predominantly center on the possession of meth, a few individuals face charges relating to other drugs, including heroin possession. Three defendants face charges of possessing with intent to distribute a synthetic opioid known as U-47700, Pink, or U-4 around March 2017. Three others are charged with illegally possessing firearms. Four defendants face kidnapping charges, which the indictment states took place in either January or February of 2018.
This isn’t the first major arrest of white supremacist drug traffickers in North Texas. Just last year the 89th person in a longstanding investigation into white supremacist groups was sentenced to twenty years for possession of meth with the intent to distribute.
“It is clear that these hate-fueled gangs will do whatever they must do in order to carry on their drug trafficking business,” Cox said. “Firearms, body armor, illegal drugs, drug proceeds, and unspeakable physical violence are the tools of their trade.”