Feds announce 8 arrests of Aryan Circle members

Federal authorities on Tuesday announced the arrests of eight members or associates of a racist gang called the Aryan Circle, described as an offshoot of the infamous Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.

In the latest indictment, seven individuals with ties to the Aryan Circle are charged with being accessories-after-the fact in the 2016 racketeering murder of fellow gang member Clifton Hallmark.

The homicide occurred in in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana. Authorities did not provide other details.

Jeremy Jordan, 38, of Orange, Texas, named in a secret indictment returned in December and unsealed Tuesday, is charged with carrying out the murder.

Those charged with being accessories are: David Wayne Williams, 36, of Sulphur, Louisiana; Christina Marie Williams, 38, of Sulphur, Louisiana; Brian Elliot Granger, 36, of Beaumont, Texas; Leland Edward Hamm, 43, of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Richard Alan Smith, 47, of Little Rock Arkansas; Michael Paul Auxilien, 34, of Mamou, Louisiana; and Stone Haynes, 49, of Beaumont, Texas.

The arrests were announced by Acting Assistant Attorney John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Alexander Van Hook of the Western District of Louisiana.

The Aryan Circle (AC), federal authorities say, “is a powerful race-based, multi-state organization” operating in and out of state and federal prisons in Texas, Louisiana and elsewhere in the United States. 

It was formed in the Texas prison system in the mid-1980s and extended its reached into rural and suburban communities in that state, Louisiana and Missouri.

Recently the Aryan Circle has “emerged as an independent organization during a period of turmoil within the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT), considered one of the largest and most violent racist gangs in the country.

“The AC [is] relatively small in comparison to other prison-based gang but grew in stature and influence within [the Texas prison system] in the 1990s, largely through violent conflict with other gangs, white and non-white alike,” the Justice Department said in a statement announcing the arrests. 

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