Wesley Gullett captured in Dover, feds say.
The leader of a violent white supremacist gang has been captured after escaping from an Arkansas jail earlier this week.
Wesley Gullett, 30, and another fugitive surrendered when apprehended while walking down a highway about 100 miles away from the jail they escaped. Gullett and 34-year-old Christopher Sanderson, who is not a known member of the gang, were being hunted by numerous law enforcement entities across the state after breaking out of the Jefferson County Detention Center.
Sanderson, who is facing a firearms charge, was found hours later and surrendered to authorities in the Ozark National Forest. He was reportedly suffering from severe dehydration and was taken to the hospital.
“Through the diligent efforts of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, Wesley Gullett has been apprehended,” Cody Hiland, U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Arkansas, said in a statement. “He will remain in federal custody and ultimately will have his day in court.”
Gullett was in jail facing charges of attempted murder and drug distribution. He was identified as the president of the New Aryan Empire, a group that had 54 members including him, and was initially arrested in February. Authorities have compared the group, known as N.A.E., to other notorious gangs like MS-13, the Bloods, and the Crips.
N.A.E. allegedly moved “copious amounts” of methamphetamine around the state, using violence to support its goals.
In order to break out of the jail, the duo reportedly stuffed their beds with material to appear as though they were sleeping. The U.S. Marshals Service was alerted of their escape at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, although Jefferson County Sheriff Lafayette Woods Jr. said that the two likely broke out sometime between midnight Monday and Wednesday morning.
Woods said that the jail had a number of vulnerabilities due to lack of staffing and the need for renovation work, issues that stemmed from inadequate funding.
“What should have happened is that they [jailers counting heads] should have placed hands on [the inmates] to make sure they were really there,” Woods said around the time of the escape.
Another group of inmates tried to escape the same jail Tuesday but were captured after a drone spotted them on the roof of the facility.