Aryan Circle gang leaders facing life in prison after racketeering conviction
Judge with Gavel (Shutterstock)

Federal prosecutors have secured a jury conviction against two leaders of a white supremacist prison gang, the Department of Justice announced on Thursday.

"Evidence presented at trial showed that William Glenn Chunn, aka Big Head, 39, of Conroe, Texas, is one of the five highest-ranking Aryan Circle leaders in the nation. He used his leadership role to order violent stabbings against rival gang members and other victims, as well as to seek out and retaliate against individuals he believed were cooperating with law enforcement," DOJ announced. "Chunn was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, including an enhanced sentencing factor for an attempted murder he ordered relating to a violent stabbing."

"Evidence presented at trial showed that Jesse Paul Blankenship, aka JP, 38, of Strafford, Missouri, 'put in work' by committing violence on behalf of the gang, including shooting at two victims inside their home and participating in a kidnapping and removal of another member's patch, or gang tattoo, by burning it from the victim's skin using a metal rod heated with a blowtorch," DOJ noted. "Blankenship was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, kidnapping in aid of racketeering, and conspiracy to commit kidnapping in aid of racketeering."

Both Chunn and Blankenship are facing life sentences.

The DOJ described the gang as "a race-based, violent prison gang with hundreds of members operating throughout the country, both inside and outside of prisons. The Aryan Circle enforces its rules and promotes discipline among its members, prospects, and associates through threats, intimidation, assaults, and murder."

Federal law enforcement was aided in the investigation by local authorities in Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, and Texas.