U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Texas
(210) 384-7100
August 12, 2015

Temple, Texas Aryan Brotherhood Associate Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison for Her Role in Methamphetamine Distribution Operation

In Waco, a federal district judge sentenced 35–year-old Temple, TX, resident and Aryan Brotherhood (AB) associate Amanda Petrie to 20 years in federal prison for her role in a methamphetamine distribution conspiracy announced Acting 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 sentenced Petrie to 15 years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and five years in federal prison for possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. Judge Smith also ordered Petrie to pay a $1,000 fine.

“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, 30 individuals have been sentenced in connection with this investigation to imprisonment ranging from 21 months to 35 years in federal prison. Sentencing for 41-year-old Sylvia O’Neal of Temple, is scheduled to be sentenced on August 5, 2015. Colby Warren, age 40, of Gatesville, is scheduled to be sentenced on September 9, 2015.

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.

Derrick Cooper (aka “Red”), age 35, of Temple, and Chris Voerhis (aka “Lurch”), age 50, of Moffat, TX, were also charged by federal grand jury indictment as a result of this investigation. Both remain in federal custody awaiting jury selection and trial scheduled for September 21, 2015, before Judge Smith. Cooper and Voerhis are charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute between 50 grams and 500 grams of methamphetamine and face between five and 40 years’ imprisonment upon conviction.

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 are prosecuting this case on behalf of the Government.

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