Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009 | 5:05 p.m.
A member of the Aryan Warrior street gang was sentenced today to 25 years in federal prison for convictions on racketeering and assault charges, U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden of Nevada said.
U.S. District Judge Kent J. Dawson sentenced 48-year-old James Wallis, also known as "Gargoyle," as a leader and organizer in the gang that operates on the streets and in Nevada prisons.
The judge ordered Wallis to serve 15 years of the sentence consecutive to state sentences he is now serving for robbery with the use of a deadly weapon and attempted murder.
Wallis is the first of five gang members convicted by a federal grand jury in July to be sentenced. The other four, Robert Young, Kenneth Krum, Charles Gensemer and Michael Yost, are scheduled for sentencing in December.
Fourteen people originally were charged in the case in 2007. Seven pleaded guilty and were sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to 16 years, Bogden said. Ronald "Joey" Sellers is awaiting trial.
In addition, Michael Kennedy, an admitted leader of the Aryan Warriors, pleaded guilty to RICO conspiracy in a related case, Bogden said. Michael Calabrese, an Aryan Warriors associate, pleaded guilty to two counts of felony gun possession and was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.
Authorities say the gang corrupts guards, extorts money and favors from prisoners' families, distributes drugs and runs extensive illegal gambling operations.
Evidence introduced at trial showed Wallis attempted to murder inmates Dennis Moncrief and Raymond Gossett at High Desert state prison. In addition, gang members murdered inmate Jacob Armstrong at the Nevada State Prison in Ely, committed several violent assaults both inside and outside the state prisons and operated one of the largest clandestine methamphetamine laboratories ever discovered in Nevada, Bogden said.
James Wallis was found guilty of participating in the stabbing of co-defendant Guy Almony at North Las Vegas Detention Center.
In addition to the FBI and Nevada Department of Corrections Inspector General's Office, Metro Police and Nye County Sheriff's Department cooperated in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathleen Bliss and Nicholas D. Dickinson and Thom Gover of the Nevada Attorney General's Office prosecuted the case.