Violent Aryan Circle gang has ties in Franklin and Gasconade county

Linda Trest
Staff Writer

The United States Eastern Missouri Region federal court (USAMOE) in St. Louis released a report on a recent guilty plea by a member of the Aryan Circle gang. 

According to a press release from USAMOE, “(T)he Aryan Circle gang 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 gang began in the mid-1980s in the Texas prison system. 

On Thursday, May 9, Daniel B. Jerome, 31, of Wentzville “pleaded guilty to committing an assault resulting in serious bodily injury to the victim in aid of racketeering,” according to a statement from the court. 

Newsweek reported in a Tuesday, May 14, article that “Jerome was one of four men who were indicted last November in connection with the attack, along with Thomas Wilson of Villa Ridge, Thomas Tisher of St. Louis and Dustin Haney of Hermann.”

USAMOE reported that the attack occurred in Jefferson County on Nov. 9, 2013. The four men violently attacked a fellow gang member and “participated in a ‘patch burning’ which included violently assaulting the victim and removing the victim’s gang tattoo using a burning log.”

Newsweek reported that the men lured the victim and his girlfriend to George Winter Park in Fenton where they started a bonfire.  As the group sat around drinking, the victim was hit over the head with a log. He was then pulled to the  river bank where a log was pulled from the bonfire and used to remove his gang tattoos. This procedure is known as patch burning. It is done when the gang believes a member has betrayed them. 

“According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) the Aryan Circle’s most common gang tattoos are known as a shield or patch and consist of a diamond shape with a Swastika, SS logo or their initials inside,” the Newsweek article stated.

Information on the website gangenforcement finds, “The Aryan Circle is somewhat unusual among racist prison gangs in that women can and do become full-fledged members. The Circle has a significant female component that takes part in all Circle activities—administrative, social, and criminal. Some women have achieved positions of considerable importance and responsibility within the Circle, but sexism prevents them from rising to the highest ranks.”

The website estimates the gang’s membership at over 1,400, “making it one of the largest white supremacist groups in the United States.”

The gang began as a splinter group of the Aryan Brotherhood. The two groups are now violent enemies.

USAMOE also notes, “(T)he 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.”

Sentencing for Jerome has been scheduled for Aug. 7, before U.S. District Judge Ronnie L. White for the Eastern District of Missouri.

This case is being investigated by an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force consisting of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Drug Enforcement Administration; Federal Bureau of Prisons; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; Texas Department of Public Safety; Houston Police Department-Gang Division; Texas Department of Criminal Justice; New Jersey Department of Corrections-Special Investigations Division and Arnold (MO) Police Department; Jefferson County (MO) Sheriff’s Department; St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department; St. Louis County (MO) Police Department; Montgomery County (TX) Precinct 1 Constable’s Office; Indiana State Police; Indiana Department of Corrections; Carrollton (TX) Police Department; Waller (TX) Police Department; Montgomery County (TX) Sheriff’s Office; Travis County (TX) Sheriff’s Office and the Tarrant County (TX) Sheriff’s Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Bethany Lipman of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Angie Danis of the Eastern District of Missouri, in cooperation with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Louisiana and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Texas.