Two Texas men pleaded guilty in early March to violent gang-related activities in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei and Nicholas L. McQuaid, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Michael Martin, aka Aryan Prodigy, aka AP, 38, of Austin, Texas, and Bobby Dayle Boney, 50, of Sulphur Springs, Texas, each pleaded guilty to assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering. Martin entered his plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Zack Hawthorn and Boney pleaded before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Giblin. Martin and Boney committed the assault as part of their membership in the Aryan Circle (AC), a gang that operates in Texas and other states throughout the country.
“Fighting the scourge of organized criminal gangs is a team effort,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas Ganjei. “It will take the full resources and resolve of federal, state, and local law enforcement to push back against these violent criminal organizations.”
According to information presented in court and contained in court filings, Martin and Boney both joined the AC in the early 2000s and have gang tattoos indicating their affiliation. Both served in leadership roles within the gang. Martin had previously served as an upper board member of the gang, which meant that he was one of the five highest-ranking leaders in the AC. Also, for a period of time, Boney held the leadership rank of vice president, which meant that he gave orders to other AC members and disciplined members who were not following the gang’s directives, among other things.
The AC is a violent, white supremacist organization that operates inside federal prisons across the country and outside prisons in states including Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Missouri. The AC enforces its rules and promotes discipline among its members, prospects and associates through murder, attempted murder, assault, 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.
Prior to Oct. 2, 2016, AC members learned that another AC member wanted to switch his gang affiliation, or “patch over,” from the AC to a different gang. AC members were ordered to attack the former member in order to “X” him, or attack and remove him from the gang, because it violated the AC’s rules to join another organization. A meeting was held at an AC member’s home in the Tyler, Texas area where AC members planned the logistics of the assault.
On Oct. 2, 2016, Martin, Boney, and other AC members met at a park near Tyler, Texas, where they had planned to attack the former member, who was also present. Multiple AC members violently beat the victim, including kicking the victim in the head while he was on the ground. This attack resulted in the victim seeking medical care for serious injuries.
This case is part of a larger investigation into the AC, Operation Noble Virtue, which has targeted AC leadership and resulted in prosecutions and convictions in six different jurisdictions to date. This is an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) case and is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration; Federal Bureau of Prisons; Texas Department of Public Safety; Houston Police Department-Gang Division; Montgomery County (TX) Precinct One Constable’s Office; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; Texas Department of Criminal Justice; New Jersey Department of Corrections-Special Investigations Division; Indiana State Police; Fort Smith (AR) Police Department; Arkansas Department of Corrections; Arnold (MO) Police Department; Jefferson County (MO) Sheriff’s Department; St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department; St. Louis County (MO) Police Department; Indiana Department of Corrections; Carrollton (TX) Police Department; Montgomery County (TX) Sheriff’s Office; Travis County (TX) Sheriff’s Office; Tarrant County (TX) Sheriff’s Office; Evangeline Parish (LA) Sheriff’s Office; Smith County (TX) Sheriff’s Office; McCurtain County (OK) Sheriff’s Office; Montgomery County (TX) District Attorney’s Office; Liberty County (TX) District Attorney’s Office; Harris County (TX) District Attorney’s Office; Mercer County (NJ) District Attorney’s Office; Evangeline Parish (LA) District Attorney’s Office; and the Sebastian County (AR) District Attorney’s Office.
OCDETF is the largest anti-crime task force in the country and its mission is to disrupt and dismantle the most significant drug trafficking and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States. The prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency task forces leverage the authorities and expertise of federal, state, and local law enforcement.
The matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Rapp of the Eastern District of Texas and Trial Attorney Bethany Lipman of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section.