Members of White Supremacist Gang in Texas Are Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison

By Peek & Toland on May 25, 2018

One of the largest prosecutions of a white supremacist gang has taken place in Texas where prosecutors sentenced 89 people.

In a press release, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Dallas said it wrapped up what is believed to be the largest prosecution in U.S. history of people linked to a white supremacist gang in 2017.

The investigation was led by the Texas Department of Public Safety’s gang unit and the Dallas Police Department’s criminal intelligence unit.

Other investigating agencies included ICE, the police department in Garland, the Collin County Sheriff’s Office and Texas police departments in Mesquite, Denison, Sherman and Sulphur Springs.

The press release from John Parker, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, said the 89th and last defendant to be sentenced was Jeramy Weatherall, 29, of Dallas, Texas.

white supremacist gang members jailed

Members of white supremacist gang were sentenced

He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle in August to 20 years in federal prison. In March 2017, he admitted one count of possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute.

Federal authorities said 89 people were convicted of the gang-related crimes. One remains a fugitive and is thought to be in Mexico. Another died before the trial started.

The 89 people who were convicted received a total of more than 1,070 years in a federal prison. Casey Rose, a 36-year-old from Mesquite in Texas was sentenced to life in federal prison after he was convicted in September 2015 of conspiracy, drug trafficking, and firearms charges.

U.S. Attorney Parker said the operation effectively wiped out the white supremacist gang. He said:

 “The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas and the Aryan Circle have essentially been decimated in North Texas. 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.”

Interim Dallas Police Chief David Pughes hailed the operation as a “great example of the success of local and federal law enforcement working together” along with the United States Attorney to ensure career criminals were brought to justice.

The defendants were members of a variety of right-wing gangs including the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT), the “Irish Mob,” the Aryan Circle, the “Dirty White Boys,” the “White Knights,” and the “Peckerwood.”

The investigators said all of these are violent white supremacist gangs.  The press release said each of the gangs is an organized crime group. In recent years, the white supremacy ideology of each of the groups has become less important than traditional criminal ventures, such as drug dealing.

If you face gang or drugs charges, you are likely to be facing a long prison sentence. Please call our Austin criminal defense lawyers for representation at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Criminal Defense, Drug Crimes

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Federal Agents Deport Wanted MS-13 Member from Houston

By Peek & Toland on April 6, 2018

The MS-13 criminal gang is one of the most notorious street organizations in the country. It has a strong presence in Texas. The gang has its roots in Central America and members may face deportation.

Last October, immigration and Customs Enforcement agents deported a 26-year-old man to El Salvador from Texas.

The agency said he was a high-ranking member MS-member and wanted in his native country for two killings.

Rene Mauricio Joya-Villata was picked up in League City in Texas on Aug. 24. He was listed among El Salvador’s 100 most-wanted fugitives, reported the Houston Chronicle.

Deportation of an MS-13 member

MS-13 member was deported from Houston

Although Joya-Villata had no criminal history in the United States and was not previously caught entering the country illegally, he was deported, said ICE spokesman Greg Palmore.

Joya-Villata was the second MS-13 member on El Salvador’s top fugitive list to be picked up in Houston this year, the Chronicle reported.

William Magana-Contreras, 36, was arrested in the spring on charges of aggravated homicide in his home country. ICE said he was deported from the United States in 2007.

MS-13 has been singled out by Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a threat to American society.

Earlier in 2017, two known MS-13 gang members appeared in a court in Houston to hear charges brought against them in the alleged torture and kidnapping of one victim and the “satanic” killing of another.

Diego Hernandez-Rivera, 18, Miguel Alvarez-Flores, 22, are charged with aggravated kidnapping in one instance and murder in a second over the shooting death of an unidentified woman whose body was found on a road in Houston.

A recent report in the Texas Tribune noted MS-13 is becoming more prominent in Texas even though it’s not the largest street gang in the state.

MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha) is considered more of a threat to public safety in Texas than larger and older criminal groups like the Aryan Brotherhood, the Bandidos motorcycle club, and the Barrio Azteca gang, according to state gang assessors.

The gang was formed among Central American immigrants in California prisons in the 1980s.

Members gained a reputation for extreme violence after El Salvador’s vicious civil war of the 1980s and early 1990s.

If you are charged with a crime as a gang member, you will be facing a heavy sentence in Texas. Call our experienced Austin criminal defense team for a consultation at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Criminal Defense

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Immigrant Sues Over Arrest, Saying He was Wrongly Placed in Gang Database

By Peek & Toland on September 25, 2017

Detainers by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are controversial enough at the best of times. However, one ICE detainee is suing over his arrest claiming he was wrongly placed in a gang database.

Attorneys for Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez are blaming the Chicago Police Department. They say the immigrant was violently arrested by ICE agents.

The lawyers say the police department’s practice of sharing its information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement led to an unlawful raid on Catalan-Ramirez’s home, according to a lawsuit, reported the Chicago Tribune.

Immigrant wh says he was wrongly placed in gang database sues

Immigrant said he was wrongly placed in gang database

Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez is an undocumented immigrant. His lawyers said he was wrongly placed in the police department’s “over-inclusive” gang database.

The move had a dramatic effect. He was stripped of privacy protections under the city’s sanctuary city ordinance, court documents stated. Police said Catalan-Ramirez was never a gang member. He was seriously injured when he was arrested in March after ICE agents entered his home. He was not informed of his presence on the database or allowed to challenge it.

Lawyers say police held the immigrant’s arm behind his back and slammed his head on the floor, exacerbating a previous brain injury.

ICE round-ups have taken place across the country in recent months as the Trump administration makes good its ‘get tough’ policy with undocumented immigrants who committed crimes.

A report on CNN said fear of round ups is resulting in undocumented immigrants going underground and not sending their children to schools.

While some unauthorized immigrants are keeping their children out of school, others suspended visits to places like libraries or other days out in the community.

The CNN article stated some undocumented immigrants won’t respond to knocks on their door, are putting bed sheets over their windows and staying off social media.

In Texas, big raids were held in areas like Austin. If you believe ICE agents have violated your rights, you should talk to an immigration attorney from Texas. Call us at (512) 474-4445.




Posted in Criminal Defense, Immigration

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