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Press Release

Final Two Aryan Brotherhood Associates Sentenced to Federal Prison for Their Roles in Methamphetamine Distribution Operation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas
All 34 individuals charged and convicted in this investigation have now been sentenced to federal prison

In Waco, a federal district judge sentenced to federal prison the remaining two Aryan Brotherhood (AB) associates convicted of participating in a methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy announced United States Attorney Richard L. Durbin, Jr., Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs, San Antonio Division, and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Joseph M. Arabit, Houston Division. 

This afternoon, United States District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr., sentenced 51–year-old Chris Voerhis (aka “Lurch”) of Moffat, TX, to 168 months imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release and 35–year-old Derrick Cooper (aka “Red”) of Temple, TX, to 84 months imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release.  Judge Smith also ordered both defendants to pay a $1,000 fine.  On October 8, 2015, both defendants pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute between 50 grams and 500 grams of methamphetamine.

“These sentences resulted from unprecedented collaboration of federal, state, and local law enforcement targeting a large-scale prison gang involved in violent organized crime over three counties in Central Texas,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Christopher Combs.  “This effort not only exemplifies our commitment to prevent gang violence and criminal activity from poisoning our communities, but it also sends a clear message that we will relentlessly pursue and prosecute the leaders and members of these violent criminal enterprises regardless of where they lay their heads.”

“Operation ‘La Flama Blanca’ has inflicted a debilitating blow to the network of shadow and often violent facilitators of the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas,” said Joseph M. Arabit, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration--Houston Field Division.  “This operation highlights a deliberate and strategic effort to cut off and shut down the supply of methamphetamine trafficked by the Aryan Brotherhood and the corresponding impact that this horrific drug inflicts on our communities.”

To date, 34 individuals have been sentenced in connection with this investigation to imprisonment ranging from just under two years to 35 years in federal prison. 

During this 10-month-long operation, investigators conducted several controlled methamphetamine purchases.  To date, authorities have seized approximately nine pounds of “crystal” methamphetamine, 15 firearms, over $9,000 in U.S. Currency and other assets in connection with this investigation.

This case is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration together with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Temple Police Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Office of Inspector General, McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, Coryell County Sheriff’s Office, Bell County Sheriff’s Office, Gatesville Police Department, Lampasas Police Department, Killeen Police Department, Austin Police Department and the United States Marshals Service.  Assistant United States Attorneys Mark Frazier and Stephanie Smith-Burris prosecuted this case on behalf of the Government. 

Updated December 9, 2015

Drug Trafficking