News and Press Releases

Aryan Warrior Gang Member Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison for Racketeering and Assault Convictions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2009

Las Vegas, Nev. – James Wallis, aka "Gargoyle," 48, a member of the Aryan Warrior prison/street gang, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Kent J. Dawson to 25 years in federal prison for his convictions on racketeering and assault charges, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Judge Dawson also found that Wallis was a leader and organizer in the gang and ordered Wallis to serve 15 years of the sentence consecutive to the state court sentences he is currently serving for robbery with the use of a deadly weapon and attempted murder. Wallis is the first of five gang members convicted by a federal jury in July to be sentenced. The other four, Robert Young, Kenneth Krum, Charles Gensemer, and Michael Yost, are scheduled for sentencing in December.

Fourteen defendants were originally charged in the case in 2007. Seven pleaded guilty, and were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 5 to 16 years, and Ronald "Joey" Sellers is awaiting trial. In addition, Michael Kennedy, an admitted leader of the Aryan Warriors pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy in a related case, and Michael Calabrese, an associate of the Aryan Warriors, pleaded guilty to two counts of felony gun possession and was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.

During jury trial in July, it was established that the "Aryan Warriors," is a criminal organization that operates inside the Nevada prison system and in certain communities in Nevada. The organization offers protection to white inmates if they join the criminal enterprise, and they assert control over other prisoners through violence and extortion. They also corrupt guards, extort money and favors from prisoners' family members, distribute illegal drugs, and run extensive illegal gambling operations. Members adhere to a written manifesto which establishes positions or ranks within the enterprise and directs members and prospects to gain access to computer records, prison records and court records, and to elicit communications with prison staff for the purpose of identifying inmates and prison staff who they perceive as against their racial cause and a danger to their illegal activities.

Specific evidence introduced at trial demonstrated that Wallis attempted to murder inmates Dennis Moncrief and Raymond Gossett at High Desert state prison . In addition, gang members murdered inmate Jacob Armstrong at the Nevada state prison in Ely, committed numerous violent assaults both inside and outside the state prison system, and operated one of the largest clandestine methamphetamine laboratories ever discovered in Nevada. James Wallis was specifically found guilty of participating in the of stabbing of co-defendant Guy Almony at the North Las Vegas Detention Center.

The case was investigated by the FBI and Nevada Department of Corrections Inspector General's Office, and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kathleen Bliss and Nicholas D. Dickinson and Thom Gover of the Nevada Attorney General's Office. Other agencies that have contributed to the investigated include the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the Nye County Sheriff's Department.

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