James Lemarc Byrd, a leader of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, is one of several accused white supremacist gang members convicted of various crimes in Texas over the past few years. Photo courtesy Texas District & County Attorneys Association
Aug. 14 (UPI) -- A member of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for selling methamphetamines in what federal officials call the largest prosecution of a white supremacist gang in U.S. history.
Jeremy Weatherall, 29, became the 89th member to be convicted in a 7-year-long investigation into the gang. Weatherall was convicted on one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, which he pleaded guilty to in March.
Other members of the white supremacist gang combined for a total of 736 previous convictions -- 234 drug-related offenses; 76 violent offenses; 36 gun offenses; 37 burglaries; seven sex or child abuse offenses; and one murder conviction, the Department of Justice said.
More than 1,070 years in federal prison were handed out during sentencing.
"The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas and the Aryan Circle have essentially been decimated in north Texas," said U.S. Attorney John Parker. "The outstanding collaborative work of the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Dallas Police Department helped ensure that each of the 89 defendants who were arrested have now been convicted and sentenced."
Two more Aryan Brotherhood members were charged, bringing the total to 91, but one died before trial and another fled and is believed to be in Mexico.
Federal prosecutors' efforts against the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas goes back to 2008, when the FBI investigated a different motorcycle gang. But an informant in that investigation tipped them off about the Aryan Brotherhood, and that turned into a years-long investigation involving several state and federal law enforcement agencies.
The gang has been suspected in several murders and assaults, including the torture of a man with a blowtorch, reported the Houston Chronicle.