A federal jury convicted two members of the Aryan Circle yesterday for violent crimes in aid of racketeering, specifically assault with a dangerous weapon resulting in serious bodily injury and attempted murder.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, William Glenn Chunn, aka Big Head, 39, of Humble, Texas, and Aaron Matthew Rentfrow, aka Mongo, 40, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, were members of the Aryan Circle, a race-based and 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, and acts of violence including, but not limited to, acts involving assault and murder. Members are required to follow the orders of higher-ranking members without question.
“The Department of Justice will do everything in its power to protect victims of violent crime,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “These convictions demonstrate the Department’s commitment to holding white supremacist gangs, like the Aryan Circle, accountable for the acts of violence they commit and seeking justice for those victimized.”
On Aug. 17, 2017, Chunn, who is one of the five highest-ranking Aryan Circle leaders in the nation, along with other Aryan Circle leaders and Rentfrow, who was an Aryan Circle prospect at the time, carried out an attack on an inmate at USP Yazoo City, Mississippi. According to evidence presented at trial, Chunn, through his chain of command, ordered Rentfrow to stab the victim to earn membership into the Aryan Circle. Chunn ordered the attack because the victim was homosexual. Rentfrow complied with Chunn’s order and committed the attack. The victim sustained severe injuries from the attack including rib fractures, multiple puncture wounds to his chest, lacerations to his face and head, and a collapsed lung requiring a chest tube. Rentfrow became a member of the Aryan Circle as a result of this attack.
“Violent crimes committed in our prison systems will be prosecuted, period,” said U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca for the Southern District of Mississippi. “Gangs, such as the Aryan Circle, that prey upon fellow inmates and society have no place in or outside of prisons. Our office is proud to have assisted the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and ATF in providing this measure of justice.”
“Our communities deserve to exist without fear and intimidation inflicted by violent gangs like the Aryan Circle,” said Special Agent in Charge Kurt Thielhorn of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). “The convictions today are an example of ATF’s priorities to target individuals and organizations that plague our communities with violence. ATF will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners to pursue violent criminals and hold them accountable.”
Chunn and Rentfrow were convicted of violent crimes in aid of racketeering assault with a dangerous weapon resulting in serious bodily injury and violent crimes in aid of racketeering attempted murder. Chunn and Rentfrow are scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 18, 2023, and each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The ATF, BOP, and DEA investigated the case.
Trial Attorneys Lakeita F. Rox-Love and Christina Taylor of the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael FiggsGanter for the Southern District of Mississippi are prosecuting the case.