Four alleged members or associates of the Aryan Circle (AC) have been indicted and three arrested for their alleged roles in a Nov. 9, 2013, aggravated assault in Jefferson County, Missouri.
The indictments were announced by Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Jeffrey B. Jensen of the Eastern District of Missouri.
Thomas B. Wilson, 43, of Villa Ridge, Missouri; Daniel B. Jerome, 31, of Wentzville, Missouri; Thomas Tisher, 34, of St Louis, Missouri; and Dustin M. Haney, 28, of Hermann, Missouri are charged in an indictment, returned by a federal grand jury on Oct. 31, and unsealed today, with aggravated assault in aid of racketeering. Daniel B. Jerome remains at large.
“These four defendants are alleged to have brutally assaulted their victim in order to establish or maintain their own status in the Aryan Circle gang,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. “Gangs like the Aryan Circle threaten the safety and security of all Americans, and the Criminal Division will target and aggressively prosecute any individual who commits acts of violence on behalf of a gang.”
According to the indictment, the AC is a powerful race-based, a multi-state organization that operates inside and outside of state and federal prisons throughout the United States, and particularly in Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. The AC was established in the mid-1980s within the Texas prison system (TDCJ). Recently, the AC’s structure and influence expanded to rural and suburban areas throughout Missouri, Texas, and Louisiana. The AC emerged as an independent organization during a period of turmoil within the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT). The AC was relatively small in comparison to other prison-based gangs, but grew in stature and influence within TDCJ in the 1990s, largely through violent conflict with other gangs, white and non-white alike.
The indictment further alleges that the AC enforces its rules and promotes discipline among its members, prospects, and associates through murder, attempted murder, assault, robbery and threats against those who violate the rules or pose a threat to the organization. Members, and often, associates, are required to follow the orders of higher-ranking members without question.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case is being investigated by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force consisting of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; Federal Bureau of Prisons; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; FBI; Texas Department of Public Safety; Houston Police Department-Gang Division; Texas Department of Criminal Justice; New Jersey Department of Corrections-Special Investigations Division; Arnold (MO) Police Department; Jefferson County (MO) Sheriff’s Department; St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department; St. Louis County (MO) Police Department; Montgomery County (TX) Precinct 1 Constable’s Office; Louisiana State Police; Indiana State Police; Indiana Department of Corrections; Carrollton (TX) Police Department; Waller (TX) Police Department; Montgomery County (TX) Sheriff’s Office; Travis County (TX) Sheriff’s Office and the Tarrant County (TX) Sheriff’s Office.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney David Karpel of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Angie Danis of the Eastern District of Missouri, in cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Louisiana and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Texas.