More than five dozen defendants with ties to white supremacist gangs will spend the next several years behind bars.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas announced Friday that 64 people belonging to the hate groups were recently sentenced to a combined 820 years in federal prison.
According to U.S. Justice Department officials, the mass sentencing marks the end of a sweeping probe that began in 2014 and included more than 150 defendants. The first round of 89 accused gangsters were convicted in 2017 and later sentenced to a combined 1,070 years in jail.
The remaining 64 defendants — all of whom were members or affiliates of white nationalist gangs, including the Aryan Brotherhood and the Dirty White Boys — were indicted in May 2018. On Deb. 13, a U.S. district judge sentenced the 64th and final defendant in this latest round to over 11 years in federal prison.
“Not only do white supremacist gangs endorse repugnant ideologies, they also facilitate a violent drug and gun trade, putting our citizens in grave danger,” U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said in a news release. “We were alarmed — but not necessarily surprised — at the quantities of drugs and firearms recovered during this investigation.”
Between 2015 and 2018, federal authorities said gang members trafficked more than 1,600 kilos of methamphetamine, 59 firearms and several other drugs like heroin and cocaine. Defendants were also accused of kidnapping and assaulting victims they claimed had stolen their drug money. One even confessed to “amputat[ing] a victim’s finger” over a drug debt.
A vast majority of the accused were no strangers to committing violent crime and between then had racked up a combined 587 convictions, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
“Thanks to the hard work of our investigators and the diligence of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 64 criminals are now off our streets and out of our communities,” said Texas DPS Deputy Director Jeoff Williams.
“Effective law partnerships are vital to operations like this and are instrumental in the making the state of Texas a safer place to live,” he added.