Authorities have charged 57 white supremacists with crimes related to a yearslong methamphetamine operation in Texas, a federal court has revealed.
In an indictment unsealed Monday by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and obtained by HuffPost, white supremacists from six different groups are facing charges including drug trafficking and kidnapping.
Members from the Aryan Circle, the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, the Aryan Brotherhood, the Peckerwoods, the Soldiers of Aryan Culture and the Dirty White Boys “engaged in a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and other illegal narcotics throughout the Northern District of Texas and elsewhere,” according to the indictment.
The groups all have ties to white supremacist ideology, including the Ayran Circle, which believes “in the complete separation of the races.” The Aryan Brotherhood, meanwhile, may have as many as 20,000 members, the indictment says.
Many of the defendants “used firearms and physical violence to further their drug trafficking activities,” according to the indictment.
In one case, an unnamed victim was held hostage for several days by members of the Aryan Circle and Aryan Brotherhood of Texas after being accused of shorting the members $600 in meth sales. Authorities determined that Aryan Circle member James Mark Nelson had actually stolen the money, then convinced other supremacists that the victim had done it, according to the indictment.
Nelson, along with suspects Ralph “Evil” Adams, Jerry “Looney” Lunsford and Amanda Gallippo, held the victim hostage sometime between January and February 2018, during which time they pointed a gun at the victim’s head and threatened to kill him.
“During this period, Nelson used a black hatchet to chop off a portion of Victim A’s left index finger,” the indictment says. The victim was later released.
U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox announced the arrests in a news conference on Monday.
“These white supremacist gangs have long plagued our communities and prisons,” Cox said.
The meth-selling operation between the groups began as early as 2015, authorities said.
“Throughout the investigation, agents stopped the flow or seized over 190 kilograms of methamphetamine, 31 firearms, and seized approximately $376,587 in cash,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.
Among the firearms authorities recovered from the members were handguns, shotguns and rifles.