64 White Supremacists Prosecuted by DOJ Receive Total 820 Years in Federal Prison

Anti-Hate Rally
Counter-demonstrators from various groups rally to oppose an anticipated white-nationalist rally in Long Beach, California, on April 28, 2019. According to Uniform Crime Reporting statistics published annually by the FBI, 2018 saw the number of violent hate crimes rise to its highest level in 16 years. MARK RALSTON/Getty

Sixty-four white supremacists have been sentenced to a combined total of 820 years' imprisonment in what is believed to be the largest collective prosecution of white supremacists in the United States, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas.

On Thursday, Garry Cody Jones, 51, was sentenced to over 11 years in prison for his role in a drug dealing scheme, marking the 64th and final hearing in the second round of sentencing for a series of kidnapping and drug-related conspiracies involving hate groups.

Jones' lawyer did not return a request for comment.

"Not only do white supremacist gangs endorse repugnant ideologies, they also facilitate a violent drug and gun trade, putting our citizens in grave danger," U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said in a press release. "We were alarmed – but not necessarily surprised – at the quantities of drugs and firearms recovered during this investigation. The U.S. Attorney's Office is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to dismantle these organizations, disrupt their criminal activities, and put their members behind bars."

Other defendants were charged with offenses ranging from threats to violent assaults. In one instance, a suspected neo-Nazi had "attempted to run over officers during his arrest."

The prosecutions were announced by Cox's office in May 2018 in a singular effort to pursue cases against dozens of suspected white supremacist gang members and their affiliates. The defendants were accused of belong to organizations such as the Aryan Brotherhood and Dirty White Boys, among others.

According to federal prosecutors, the defendants routinely distributed methamphetamine and other narcotics, occasionally using firearms to safeguard their dealings, which is also a crime.

Overall, the defendants trafficked more than 1,600 kilograms of methamphetamine, 59 firearms and other drugs including cocaine and heroin over a three-year period beginning in 2015, the Justice Department said.

The defendants also had a combined 587 convictions for prior crimes before their prosecutions in this case.

White supremacy and related forms of hate have become a pronounced public policy concern over the last several years.

According to Uniform Crime Reporting statistics published annually by the FBI, 2018 saw the number of violent hate crimes rise to its highest level in 16 years. The majority of hate crimes in America are perpetrated based on racial animus. Of those incidents, almost half are directed towards African Americans.

In recognition of the growing tide of white supremacy, FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress in early February that his agency believes racially motivated extremist groups pose a risk to the public that is "on the same footing" as the risk posed by foreign actors such as ISIS.