DALLAS (AP) — Federal authorities say dozens of people associated with white-supremacist gangs in Texas have been indicted on drug trafficking charges, including four accused in a kidnapping in which a hatchet was used to chop off a victim’s finger.
Authorities said Monday that 57 people are charged. Forty-two were arrested last week, nine people were already in custody on unrelated charges and six are still being sought.
An indictment alleges the defendants were members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas and other gangs. Prosecutors allege the scheme operated from October 2015 through this month as members conspired to distribute methamphetamine in Texas.
“Not only do white supremacist gangs subscribe to a repugnant, hateful ideology, they also engage in significant, organized and violent criminal activity,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a Justice Department statement.
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“The quantities of drugs, guns and money seized in this case are staggering,” he said.
According to the indictment, the organizations and individuals accused of crimes include the “Aryan Circle,” the “Aryan Brotherhood of Texas,” the “Aryan Brotherhood,” the “Peckerwoods,” the “Soldiers of Aryan Culture,” the “Dirty White Boys,” and “Tango Blast.” They’re accused of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and other illegal narcotics throughout North Texas and elsewhere.
Four white supremacists kidnapped someone this past January and held that person captive through February in an effort to obtain drug proceeds they believed were owed to them. Investigators say the victim was beaten and had a finger lopped off.