Man with ties to Aryan Brotherhood eludes deputies

Published on Thursday, 31 July 2014 10:43 - Written by Kenneth Dean, kdean@tylerpaper.com

Authorities are searching for a man with ties to the Texas Aryan Brotherhood prison gang after he fled on foot Wednesday, eluding officers by running through a heavily wooded area and creek near the Jackson Heights community. 

Smith County Precinct 4 Constable John Smith said one of his deputies accompanied Smith County Sheriff deputies Wednesday as they went to Charles (Root) Ray Griffith Jr.'s home in the 15900 block of Dry Creek Road to serve an arrest warrant for possession of a controlled substance.

Smith said as the deputies approached the home, Griffith, 24, ran on foot and was able to elude them through the wooded area.

"He ran out of his shoes, but he knows that area like the back of his hand," he said.

Smith said he arrested Griffith in April on a possession of controlled substance charge, but also found what appeared to be burglar tools. 

"He had 10 pry bars, flashlights, black jogging pants, black hoodie and toboggan, wire cutters, night vision goggles and gloves on him when he was arrested in April," he said. 

Smith said Griffith admitted to being a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, and has a tattoo on his right side of his stomach with the words white power. 

Smith said Griffith should be considered armed and dangerous, and has shot someone in the past during an altercation. 

Anyone with information about Griffith's whereabouts is urged to contact the Smith County Sheriff's Office at 903-566-6600, 911 or John Smith's office at 903-590-4871.