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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

White supremacy groups still thriving in SETX (USA)

The presence of the Aryan Brotherhood and other white supremacy groups is a concern for law enforcement. The Tyler County Sheriff is trying to determine if three suspects accused of firing shots into a home near Spurger are part of such a group.

Deputies arrested Cory William Barker, John Brian Simank and Brandon Allen Gray after shots were fired into homes along Highway 92 last Saturday night.

"That’s not something we are going to tolerate here and we are going to do everything we can to keep them out of this county,” says Tyler County Sheriff David Hennigan.

Sheriff Hennigan is worried. Worried for the people who live in Tyler County on remote, winding roads near wooded areas, and who deal with what he calls "these kinds of gangs."

"Keeping an eye on these groups," said Hennigan. "Letting them know, 'hey, we are watching you. We see you.'"

Seeing and watching for increased violence like house fires and shootings his office has investigated off and on for several months. A sure sign, he says, white supremacy groups are back.

"It's one of those things you put two and two together," said Hennigan. "The tattoos that identify them with a gang or group."

The sheriff is trying to find out if the three men arrested are part of such a gang or group. He said whatever group they might belong to was not a factor in the violence they're accused of.

Sheriff Hennigan said the men were driving on Highway 92 near Spurger and were involved in a domestic dispute that ended with the trio firing shots at several homes in the area.

"The individuals that were arrested, they were threatening the officers themselves," said Sheriff Hennigan. "Threatening their families.”

Sheriff Hennigan says he'll use whatever resources it takes, including the FBI and DPS, to keep those kinds of people out of his county.

"Have that gang mentality," said Hennigan. "They have a sense of family with these gangs. It makes them bold to do certain things that they wouldn't do otherwise unless they had the gang support."

 Support for groups that started decades ago and continues to thrive, finding a home not only in Tyler County but other parts of Southeast Texas.

The suspects are charged with organized criminal activity and they face other charges as well.