Ten found guilty in Aryan meth case

Four men face mandatory life in prison and six face a minimum of 10 years after being found guilty in the case of methamphetamine distribution through the Aryan Circle.

The jury finished 11 hours of deliberation at 2:05 p.m. Monday.

Charles Samson, Michael Lewis, Victor Tucker and Malachi David Wren were all found guilty of continuing criminal enterprise.

In a special verdict, the jury also found these four guilty of possessing and possessing with intent to distribute more than 15,000 grams of a substance or mixture containing methamphetamine. The charges carry a mandatory life sentence, according to Mark Roomberg, assistant U.S. District Attorney.

The other six men on trial, Jerry Wayne Beason, Shane Samson, Leonard Duane Griffith, Michael Norris Martin, Buddy Ford and Donnie D. Thompson were all found guilty of manufacturing, distributing and possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.

The jury specified in a special verdict that each man was guilty of trafficking more than 500 grams of the substance.

Sentencing in the case will take place in October, said U.S. District Judge Rob Junell. Roomberg said the special verdict sets the minimum sentence each man will face, which is based on the amount of drugs involved. In this case every man was found guilty for the maximum amount set forth in the indictment.

The street value of all the methamphetamine involved in this case is $3 million, said Odessa Police Department Sgt. Mike Tacker.

One U.S. Marshall stood behind each defendant as the jury’s verdict was read, and several more were spaced throughout of the courtroom. At Junell’s command, the marshals simultaneously handcuffed the convicts.

As Lewis was led from the room he made a crude comment directed at the prosecution.

Later, as he was led from the building, he made an obscene gesture at news crews. Others threw the Aryan Circle hand sign and one yelled “AC baby!”

Marshals, some with automatic rifles, secured the area immediately surrounding the courthouse as the convicts were loaded into a transport.

Most will be held in the Ector County Detention Center until sentencing, said David Rogers, defense attorney for Martin.

“If you come to Odessa and manufacture meth, we’re going to seek you out,” Tacker said.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Odessa American, USA
July 20, 2004
Kara Vaught

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday July 20, 2004.
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