Fifty-seven people linked with six Texas white supremacist groups face charges in an alleged drug and kidnapping conspiracy, according to an indictment unsealed Monday.
The loose affiliation of Texas white supremacists allegedly trafficked meth across the state since at least 2015. But the network imploded when a member of the white supremacist Aryan Circle allegedly stole money from members of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, blamed someone else, then helped kidnap and cut off part of the scapegoat’s finger.
The indictment from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, names the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas, the Aryan Brotherhood (unrelated), the Aryan Circle (a splinter group of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas), the Peckerwoods (loosely affiliated with the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas), the Soldiers of Aryan Culture, and the Dirty White Boys. The groups, many of which incorporate Nazi imagery, are known for their involvement in drug trafficking.
In 2016, feds charged 17 Aryan Brotherhood of Texas affiliated-people who allegedly ran a meth ring across east Texas. Aryan Circle members were also recently indicted in Louisiana for the murder of one of their own members. Although the Aryan Circle members claimed the man was killed in a random convenience store shooting, authorities reportedly overheard the victim’s wife and another woman discussing plans for a coverup while on the phone with 911.
The six white supremacist groups allegedly worked to traffic meth with Tango Blast, a collection of predominately Hispanic gangs in Texas.
“Throughout the investigation, agents stopped the flow or seized over 190 kilograms of methamphetamine, 31 firearms, and seized approximately $376,587 in cash,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said in a statement.
Nearly three years of alleged drug trafficking came to a violent head in January or February 2018. That’s when Justin “Animal” Nelson of the Aryan Circle allegedly tried to sell $600 of meth to two Aryan Brotherhood of Texas members. A man described in the indictment as “Victim A” was supposed to be the go-between for the two groups. He gave Nelson the $600. But when Nelson didn’t hand over the drugs, Victim A was forced to return to the Brotherhood empty handed.
Angry about the missing money, members of the Brotherhood allegedly went to confront Nelson, who lied and told them Victim A had stolen the $600. Members of the Aryan Circle and the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas then allegedly kidnapped Victim A, pointing a pistol at his head and threatening to murder him. Nelson allegedly chopped off part of Victim A’s index finger with a hatchet, while a woman bashed Victim A in the back of the head with a blunt object, trying to knock him unconscious.
The white supremacists allegedly held Victim A hostage for days, and told Nelson to murder him at another location. Nelson, the real culprit behind the $600 swindle, appeared unable to go through with the murder, and eventually let Victim A escape.
The indictment accuses various members of the gangs with conspiracy to commit kidnapping, possession of controlled substances with intention to distribute, and possession of firearm by a felon, among other charges.
Other people accused in the indictment have their own sordid criminal histories. Joshua Lane, the first defendant in the complaint, was previously arrested on firearms charges in September, court records show. The second defendant, Craig “Wheezy” Wilbur, has a litany of drug offenses to his name and the third defendant, Maricella Segoviano, made headlines in 2014 when her then-boyfriend stole a car with two toddlers inside. Segoviano allegedly swiped the father’s wallet from the car.
When police arrested Lane again in November, he rammed police cars with his SUV, according to a criminal complaint. A police officer shot Lane once, believing him to be reaching for a gun in the SUV. After Lane was treated and transported to a jail, he had an ominous conversation with officers.
"Hopefully there won't be a next time," a police officer told him, according to a transcript included in the complaint. "Stop getting into trouble."
"Yeah," another officer said, "you might not survive the next time."
"You might not, either," Lane said.