(STL.News) – A member of the Aryan Circle gang pleaded guilty Thursday to committing an assault resulting in serious bodily injury to the victim in aid racketeering announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Jeffrey B. Jensen of the Eastern District of Missouri.
Daniel B. Jerome, 31, of Wentzville, Missouri, committed this aggravated assault on a fellow Aryan Circle gang member in Jefferson County, Missouri, on November 9, 2013. According to the plea agreement, Jerome participated in a “patch-burning,” which included violently assaulting the victim and removing the victim’s gang tattoo using a burning log. Sentencing for Jerome has been scheduled for August 7, 2019, before U.S. District Judge Ronnie L. White for the Eastern District of Missouri.
The plea agreement states that the Aryan Circle is a powerful race-based, multi-state organization that operates inside and outside of state and federal prisons throughout Missouri, Texas, Louisiana and the United States. The Aryan Circle was established in the mid-1980s within the Texas prison system (TDCJ). In recent years, the Aryan Circle’s structure and influence expanded to rural and suburban areas throughout Missouri, Texas and Louisiana. The Aryan Circle emerged as an independent organization during a period of turmoil within the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT). The Aryan Circle 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 agreement further indicates that the Aryan Circle 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.