A senior leader of the Aryan Circle (AC) and a subordinate gang member pleaded guilty today and yesterday to being an accessory-after-the-fact to racketeering murder, announced Assistant Attorney General Bryan A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph of the Western District of Louisiana.
David Wayne Williams, 38, of Sulphur, Louisiana, a senior leader in the gang, and Leland Hamm, 43, of Tulsa, Oklahoma pleaded guilty to being accessories-after-the-fact in the violent crimes in aid of racketeering murder of Clifton Hallmark, 51, before U.S. District Court Judge Dee D. Drell in the Western District of Louisiana. Williams also pleaded guilty to narcotics trafficking and weapons possession.
On July 25, Richard Alan Smith, 47, of Little Rock, Arkansas, also pleaded guilty to the accessory-after-the-fact charge in the racketeering murder of Clifton Hallmark.
According to the plea agreements of the defendants, the AC is a powerful race-based, multi-state organization that operates inside and outside of state and federal prisons throughout Texas, Louisiana, and the United States. The AC was established in the mid-1980s within the Texas prison system (TDCJ). Recently, the AC’s structure and influence expanded to rural and suburban areas throughout Texas, Louisiana, and Missouri. The AC emerged as an independent organization during a period of turmoil within the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT). 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.
The plea agreements further state that the AC enforces its rules and promotes discipline among its members, prospects and associates through murder, attempted murder, assault, robbery 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.
By pleading guilty to the accessory charge, Williams, Hamm, and Smith admitted to being members of the AC criminal enterprise. Williams admitted to being a senior leader of the gang.
Sentencing for Williams and Hamm has been scheduled for Nov. 20 and Dec. 13, respectively, before Judge Dee D. Drell. Sentencing for Smith has been scheduled for Nov. 20.
This case is being investigated by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force consisting of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Drug Enforcement Administration; Federal Bureau of Prisons; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, FBI, Louisiana State Police; Evangeline Parish, (LA) Sheriff’s Office; Evangeline Parish District Attorney’s Office; Texas Department of Public Safety; Houston Police Department-Gang Division; Texas Department of Criminal Justice; New Jersey State Prison; Montgomery County (TX) Precinct 1 Constable’s Office; Indiana State Police; Indiana Department of Corrections; the Carrollton (TX) Police Department; Waller (TX) Police Department; Montgomery County (TX) Sheriff’s Office; Travis County (TX) Sheriff’s Office and the Tarrant County (TX) Sheriff’s Office.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney David Karpel of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dominic Rossetti of the Western District of Louisiana.