BEAUMONT, Texas – Five indictments in three different states were unsealed today indicting a total of twenty-four defendants, including alleged Aryan Circle (AC) gang members and associates, on charges of racketeering conspiracy, violent crimes in aid of racketeering, drug conspiracy, and unlawful firearms trafficking.
The indictments were announced by Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Stephen J. Cox of the Eastern District of Texas, U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan, Jr. of the Eastern District of Kentucky, and U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst of the Southern District of Mississippi. These indictments are part of a larger investigation into the AC, Operation Noble Virtue, that has targeted AC leadership and has resulted in seventeen federal convictions in six jurisdictions to date.
One of the indictments in the Eastern District of Texas charges six alleged AC members and associates with a racketeering conspiracy that includes acts involving murder, five alleged AC members with assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering, and two alleged AC members with kidnapping and conspiracy to commit kidnapping in aid of racketeering. Among those charged are alleged current and former high-ranking gang leaders including William Glenn Chunn, aka “Big Head,” 38, of Texas; Michael Martin, aka “Aryan Prodigy,” aka “AP,” 37, of Texas; Kevin Kent, aka “Big Kev,” 35, of Indiana; and Malachi David Wren, 51, of Texas. Other alleged AC members charged include Jesse Paul Blankenship, aka “JP,” 39, of Missouri; Timothy Long, aka “Timmy,” 41, of Arkansas; Jeremy Chad Dennis, aka “JD,” 43, of Texas; Becky Westbrook, 49, of Mississippi; Rodney Holt, aka “Turbo,” 48, of Texas; Bobby Dayle Boney, aka “Bear,” 50, of Texas; and Glynnwood Derrick, 46, of Texas. One additional defendant remains at large.
Another indictment in the Eastern District of Texas charges Rodney Holt, aka “Turbo”; as well as his associate who is not known to be an AC member, Eric Hoccheim, 39, of Texas, with five counts including firearms trafficking and conspiracy. Operation Noble Virtue also resulted in a third indictment in the Eastern District of Texas, which charges Jeremy Klintman, aka “Shamrock,” 37, of Texas; Eulalio Torres-Cadenas, aka “Yayo,” 43, of Mexico; Shane Louque, 45, of Louisiana; and Breanna Beckley, 39, of Texas, with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. These defendants are not known to be affiliated with the AC.
The indictment in the Southern District of Mississippi charges William Glenn Chunn, aka “Big Head”; Aaron Matthew Rentfrow, aka “Mongo,” 40, of Indiana; Jeremy Chad Dennis, aka “JD”; and Johnathon Aaron Reynolds, 38, of Tennessee with violent crimes in aid of racketeering relating to the stabbing of an inmate at USP Yazoo. That indictment also charges Daniel Wade Holler, aka “Knucklehead,” 34, of Texas, with accessory after the fact relating to the same attack.
The indictment in the Eastern District of Kentucky charges Mitchell Leon Farkas, aka “Lifter,” 51, of Louisiana; Jonathan Tucker Gober, aka “Tucker,” 36, of Texas; James Matthew Poole, aka “Redwood,” 35, of Texas; and Andrew Dwayne Tinlin, aka “Tin,” 39, of Iowa, with violent crimes in aid of racketeering relating to the stabbing of an inmate at USP Big Sandy.
According to court documents, the AC is a violent, race‑based organization that operates inside federal prisons across the country and outside prisons in states including Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri. The AC was established in the mid‑1980s within the Texas state prison system (TDCJ) after a period of turmoil within the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) resulted in rejected and ex-ABT members creating the AC. 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. In recent years, the AC’s structure and influence expanded outside of prisons to rural and suburban areas in numerous states.
Court records further indicate that the AC enforces its rules and promotes discipline among its members, prospects and associates through murder, attempted murder, assault, and threats against those who violate the rules or pose a threat to the organization. Members, and oftentimes associates, are required to follow the orders of higher-ranking members without question. The criminal acts charged in the indictments described above include shootings, stabbings, beatings, and “patch-burnings,” which are violent attacks that result in removal of a victim’s gang tattoo.
An indictment is merely an allegation. The 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 (OCDETF) consisting of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration; Federal Bureau of Prisons; Texas Department of Public Safety; Houston Police Department-Gang Division; Montgomery County (TX) Precinct One Constable’s Office; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; Texas Department of Criminal Justice; New Jersey Department of Corrections-Special Investigations Division; Indiana State Police; Fort Smith (AR) Police Department; Arkansas Department of Corrections; Arnold (MO) Police Department; Jefferson County (MO) Sheriff’s Department; St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department; St. Louis County (MO) Police Department; Indiana Department of Corrections; Carrollton (TX) Police Department; Waller (TX) Police Department; Montgomery County (TX) Sheriff’s Office; Travis County (TX) Sheriff’s Office; Tarrant County (TX) Sheriff’s Office; Evangeline Parish (LA) Sheriff’s Office; Smith County (TX) Sheriff’s Office; McCurtain County (OK) Sheriff’s Office; Montgomery County (TX) District Attorney’s Office; Liberty County (TX) District Attorney’s Office; Harris County (TX) District Attorney’s Office; Mercer County (NJ) District Attorney’s Office; Evangeline Parish (LA) District Attorney’s Office; and the Sebastian County (AR) District Attorney’s Office.
The cases are being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Bethany Lipman, Rebecca Dunnan, Lakeita Rox-Love, and Alexander Gottfried of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Rapp of the Eastern District of Texas, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah Johnson of the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Figgs Ganter of the Southern District of Mississippi, with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri.