ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOV.com) -- A leader and a member of a prison-based "whites only" gang have been sentenced for being accessories-after-the-fact to a murder.
U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph, in a news release, says 38-year-old David Wayne Williams, of Sulphur, was sentenced Tuesday to 157 months in prison, while 47-year-old Richard Alan Smith, of Little Rock, Arkansas, got 150 months.
Four alleged members of The Aryan Circle were charged with racketeering and aggravated assault on Wednesday, Oct. 31.
According to court documents, on November 9, 2013, Thomas Wilson, Daniel Jerome, Thomas Tisher, and Dustin Haney, along with other unknown suspects, committed an armed assault as in an attempt to gain entrance into the gang.
The Aryan Circle, a race-based, whites-only, prison-based gang, operates inside and outside of prisons throughout Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Louisiana.
Members traffic guns and drugs, and according to court documents, also “commit “acts of violence involving murder, assault, robbery, witness intimidation, and kidnapping.”
The gang was established in the mid-1980s during a shakeup within the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.
The Aryan Circle began as a small group within the Texas criminal justice system, comprised primarily of ex-ABT members and people rejected from the ABT.
The gang’s influence grew throughout the 90s, largely through violent conflicts with other gangs.
Soon it’s members were both inside and outside of prison and had expanded to cities and suburbs throughout multiple states.
To gain membership to The Aryan Circle, prospects usually have to be nominated by a member and are eventually tasked with committing an act of violence which helps the gang in some way.
Court documents allege Wilson, Jerome, Tisher, and Haney assaulted a victim in the Eastern District of Missouri, causing them serious bodily harm, in service to The Aryan Circle. Because the gang is involved in racketeering activity, the four men were charged with violent crimes in aid of racketeering, assault and using a firearm in a crime of violence.