Neo-Nazi Prison Gang Leader 'Aryan Prodigy' Gets Over 7 Years for Directing Violent Assault

Michael Martin, a 38-year-old neo-Nazi known as "Aryan Prodigy," has been sentenced to an additional seven years in prison for orchestrating a violent assault against a fellow inmate.

The Texan instructed subordinates in his white supremacist prison gang, the Aryan Circle (AC), to attack a fellow subordinate AC gang member, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement. He ordered the attack because the man wanted to disaffiliate from the AC to join another prison gang. Doing so is prohibited by the AC's rules.

Martin landed in prison in early 2021 after pleading guilty to committing assault resulting in serious bodily injury in aid of racketeering. At the time, he was already a high-ranking member of the AC gang. He had joined the gang in the early 2000s and became one of its five highest-ranking members nationwide, the DOJ said.

Martin's high-ranking position allowed him to make decisions directing the actions of other members. These decisions included who to recruit; which rival gangs to battle with or against; and also who to discipline or remove for violating AC rules.

AC members are supposed to obey the orders of their elder leaders without question.

Michael Martin neo-Nazi Aryan Prodigy violent assault
Michael Martin, a neo-Nazi known as "Aryan Prodigy," has been sentenced to seven years in prison for orchestrating a violent assault against a man in prison. Above, neo-Nazi protestors demonstrate near the grand opening ceremonies for the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center on April 19, 2009, in Skokie, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty

When Martin learned that another AC member, a fellow inmate, wanted to switch his gang affiliation to a different gang, he ordered his subordinates to "X," or remove, the man, according to court documents.

As a result of Martin's order, AC members attacked the victim. They violently beat the man, kicking him hard in the head when he collapsed to the floor. The combined attacks were so severe that the man had to receive medical care in the prison and left him suffering from a long-term injury.

The attack was nearly identical to one that landed Martin in prison in the first place. In October 2016, Martin directed AC members to attack a man who also wanted to disaffiliate from the AC to join another gang. Martin and other AC members planned the attack against the man in a fellow gang member's home. The assault occurred in a park near Tyler, Texas.

The AC originated in the Texas Department of Corrections, the DOJ said. The gang now operates in federal prisons across the country, as well as outside of prisons in states including Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Missouri. The gang reportedly has hundreds of members.

The gang enforces its rules and discipline through threats, intimidation, and violence including assault, torture and murder.

White supremacist propaganda hit an all-time high in 2020, according to a March 2021 report from the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism. That year, almost 5,200 cases of racist, antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ posters were reported to legal authorities.

At least 30 different white supremacist groups were responsible for posting the propaganda. Three of the groups put up 90 percent of the material, the report said.

An estimated 9 percent of Americans think it's acceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views, according to a 2017 poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC.

Newsweek contacted the DOJ for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.