Aryan Circle Gang members plead guilty in Turkey Creek murder case
Several Aryan Circle Gang members, who were involved in a 2016 Turkey Creek murder, have pleaded guilty to accessory-after-the-fact, racketeering murder and multiple other charges.
According to a release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana, it states that the individuals who pleaded guilty were senior gang member, David Wayne Williams, 38, of Sulphur, and subordinate gang members, Leland Hamm, 43, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Richard Alan Smith, 47, of Little Rock, Arkansas.
The three individuals were charged in the murder of 51-year-old Clifton Hallmark, who was shot to death during a 4th of July celebration that took place at a residence in Turkey Creek on July 1, 2016.
In the release, it states that on Wednesday, August 22, 2018, Williams and Hamm both “pleaded guilty to the accessories-after-the-fact in the violent crimes in aid of racketeering murder.” In addition, Williams also “pleaded guilty to narcotics, trafficking and weapons possession.”
Smith pleaded guilty on July 25, 2018 to the “accessory-after-the-fact charge in the racketeering murder” of Hallmark.
In the release, it states that “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 release then continued, “The AC was established in the mid-1980s within the Texas prison system. 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. The AC was relatively small in comparison to other prison-based gangs, but grew in stature and influence in the 1990s, largely through violent conflict with other gangs.”
According to the release, “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, the release states, “Williams, Hamm, and Smith admitted to being members of the AC criminal enterprise,” and Williams also “admitted to being a senior leader of the gang.”
Sentencing for Williams and Hamm has been scheduled to take place before U.S. District Court Judge Dee D. Drell on November 20th and December 13th of this year, while sentencing for Smith will occur on November 20th.
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, (Louisiana) 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 (Texas) Precinct 1 Constable’s Office; Indiana State Police; Indiana Department of Corrections; the Carrollton (Texas) Police Department; Waller (Texas) Police Department; Montgomery County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office; Travis County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office and the Tarrant County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dominic Rossetti of the Western District of Louisiana and Trial Attorney David Karpel of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.