- By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press
By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN, Associated Press
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Eight alleged members or associates of a white supremacist prison gang called the Aryan Circle have been indicted in Louisiana on federal charges in the 2016 killing of a fellow alleged member of the gang.
Court records unsealed on Tuesday show Jeremy Wade Jordan, 38, of Orange, Texas, pleaded guilty on March 2 to the first of two counts in his indictment. The first count in his Dec. 14 indictment charged Jordan with “violent crimes in aid of racketeering” in the murder of Clifton Hallmark in Evangeline Parish.
Jordan, whose case had remained under seal since December, is scheduled to be sentenced on June 18.
A separate indictment, also unsealed Tuesday, charges seven other people — residents of Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma or Arkansas — with being accessories after the fact to the slaying. The two-page indictment, handed up last Thursday, says they helped Jordan “in order to hinder and prevent his apprehension, trial and punishment.”
All eight defendants are in custody, according to Justice Department spokeswoman Nicole Navas.
KLFY-TV has reported that Hallmark, a Shreveport resident, was shot and killed on July 1, 2016, during an argument at a Turkey Creek home. The indictment doesn’t say whether the suspects were in or out of prison when Hallmark was killed.
Jordan’s 12-page indictment, which a grand jury handed up on Dec. 14, says he and others participated in Hallmark’s killing “for the purpose of gaining entrance to and maintaining and increasing position in” the Aryan Circle. Jordan also is charged with illegally using a firearm.
In January, the Justice Department notified the court that it wasn’t seeking the death penalty in the case against Jordan, records show.
A public defender listed as an attorney for Jordan didn’t immediately respond to a telephone call seeking comment.
Jordan’s indictment doesn’t include any other details of the killing, but it details the structure and operation of the “violent, race-based, ‘white’s only’ prison-based gang” to which he allegedly belongs.
The Aryan Circle was founded around 1985 within the Texas prison system, emerging during a “period of internal turmoil” within the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, the indictment says.
“The AC was relatively small in comparison to other prison-based gangs, but grew in stature and influence within (Texas prisons) in the 1990s, largely through violent conflicts with other gangs, white and non-white alike,” it adds.
Aryan Circle members have engaged in drug and firearms trafficking, killings, robbery and kidnapping and other crimes, the indictment says. The gang’s influence recently has expanded to other rural and suburban areas in Texas and other states, including Louisiana and Missouri, and has had branches operating inside and outside prison walls, it adds.
Members often have tattoos incorporating Nazi-style symbols, such as swastikas and “SS” bolts. Members who violate gang rules or don’t follow leaders’ orders have faced punishment ranging from fines and written violations to beatings or death, Jordan’s indictment says.
“Membership in the AC was for life. There was no retirement from the AC,” it says.
The seven people indicted on the accessory charge are: David Wayne “Big Dave” Williams, 36, of Sulphur, Louisiana; Christina Marie Williams, 38, of Sulphur; Brian Elliot “Sneak” 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.