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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Four Alleged Members of Universal Aryan Brotherhood Charged with Federal Crimes

OKLAHOMA CITY – JACE LEE McKITTRICK, 29, of Enid; ROSS TYSON PILKINGTON, 39, of Lawton; and JERRY JAMES KENDALL RITCHIE, 32, of Enid, have been charged with possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute, while MICHAEL QUINTON SMITH, II, 48, of Oklahoma City, and McKittrick have been charged with possessing a firearm after a felony conviction, announced Robert J. Troester of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.  A federal grand jury returned indictments yesterday that charge each defendant separately, based on different events in different places and at different times.  All four are alleged to be members of the Universal Aryan Brotherhood.

According to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint filed on November 1, 2018, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office attempted to stop a red GMC driven by McKittrick for a traffic violation at about 12:30 a.m. on October 10.  McKittrick allegedly failed to stop and instead drove through a residential area at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour.  The affidavit explains that McKittrick then turned around and rammed the pursuing police car.  Continuing to attempt to evade the police, he is alleged to have eventually run into a tree and fled on foot.  The pursuing officer was able to arrest him through the use of a taser, according to the complaint.  McKittrick’s vehicle allegedly contained numerous one-gram-style baggies, 26.1 grams of a white crystalline substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, a marijuana cigar, and other items.

In addition to charging possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on October 10, the indictment charges McKittrick with three crimes on September 23, 2018: possession of methamphetamine and Oxycodone with intent to distribute, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  If convicted of possessing methamphetamine or Oxycodone with intent to distribute, he could be imprisoned for twenty years and face not less than three years of supervised release.  A conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm would carry a maximum penalty of ten years, plus three years of supervised release.  And a conviction for possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking would lead to mandatory imprisonment of five years in addition to any other penalty, plus up to five years of supervised release.

According to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint filed on October 31, 2018, a detective with the Lawton Police Department stopped Pilkington for a traffic violation on June 12, 2018, at approximately 10:13 a.m.  The affidavit alleges the detective felt a crunchy substance in Pilkington’s pocket while conducting a pat-down for weapons.  According to the affidavit, the substance was in a clear plastic bag and appeared to be methamphetamine.  Further search of the vehicle allegedly yielded 331 grams of methamphetamine, digital scales, and clear plastic baggies.  If convicted of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute, Pilkington would face imprisonment between five and forty years and not less than four years of supervised release.  Court records show that at the time of arrest, Pilkington was on supervised release following a conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint filed on November 1, 2018, Enid Police Department officers stopped a Buick SUV driven by Ritchie on October 19, 2018, at approximately 7:06 p.m. for a traffic violation.  According to the affidavit, when officers apprehended Ritchie after he fled on foot, he refused to place his hands in the air and was pulled to the ground and handcuffed while yelling and cursing.  It is alleged that officers ultimately discovered a loaded semi-automatic pistol in the SUV, along with bags with a white substance that tested positive for methamphetamine and two digital scales.

An indictment now charges Ritchie with possession of 3.9 grams of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, illegal possession of a firearm after a felony conviction, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  If convicted on the drug count, he could be imprisoned up to twenty years, be fined up to $1,000,000, and be subject to three years of supervised release.  If convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, he could be imprisoned for ten years and face up to three years of supervised release.  The count charging possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking would carry a mandatory term of five years of imprisonment beyond any other sentence and three years of supervised release.  If, however, the court were to determine he qualifies as an armed career criminal, he would be subject to a mandatory prison term of fifteen years and a maximum of life.

According to an affidavit in support of a criminal complaint filed on November 9, 2018, Oklahoma City Police Department officers found Smith on August 7, 2018, just after 3:00 a.m., asleep in a Toyota Tundra that was straddling lanes at the intersection of S.W. 59th Street and Blackwelder Avenue.  The affidavit explains that after waking Smith up, an officer determined he had been driving under revocation, had five felony warrants out of Oklahoma County, and was a convicted felon.  That officer allegedly saw a firearm later identified as a Bushmaster Firearms International, Model XM15-E2S, .223 caliber/5.56 rifle in plain view on the back floorboard.  According to the affidavit, the gun had a loaded thirty-round magazine and had been stolen in Midwest City.  If convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, Smith could be imprisoned for ten years and face up to three years of supervised release.

The charges against McKittrick and Ritchie are the results of investigations by the Enid Police Department, the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security—Homeland Security Investigations, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, with assistance from the District Attorney’s Office for Garfield County.  The charge against Pilkington is the result of an investigation by the Lawton Police Department and the FBI, with assistance from the District Attorney’s Office for Comanche County.  The charge against Smith is the result of an investigation by the Oklahoma City Police Department and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security—Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the District Attorney’s Office for Oklahoma County.  Prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas Patterson and Mark R. Stoneman, these four cases are part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a Department of Justice program to reduce violent crime.  In October 2017, the Department announced the reinvigoration of Project Safe Neighborhoods and directed U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop crime-reduction strategies that incorporate lessons federal law enforcement has learned since the program’s launch in 2001.

The public is reminded that these charges are merely allegations and that each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Reference is made to public filings for further information.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated November 14, 2018