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Orange County man sentenced to life for racketeering murder
U.S. Attorney's Office/Eastern District of Texas
Reporter Megan Dillard was in court today and KFDM News will have more information tonight at 6 p.m.
BEAUMONT, Texas A 34-year-old Vidor, Texas man was sentenced today for his role in a March 2011 murder committed in as part of the SWS criminal enterprise in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.
Tanner Lynn Bourque, a/k/a Two Shoes, a/k/a Hitman pleaded guilty on July 15, 2013, to murder in aid of racketeering and was sentenced to life in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.
According to information presented in court, Bourque ordered Kenny Don Stanley, 32, to shoot and kill James Lee Sedtal, a/k/a Lil Bit, on Mar. 14, 2011. Bourque, Kristopher Leigh Guidry, a/k/a Hollywood, 29, and Vicki Stark-Fitts, 49, assisted in the murder, which took place in Liberty County, Texas, at Stark-Fittss residence. Bourque, Guidry, Stanley, and Sedtal were members of the SWS. The defendants murdered Sedtal on behalf of SWS, after Sedtal assaulted an Aryan Brotherhood of Texas (ABT) associate. ABT was poised to retaliate against SWS, and Bourque, Guidry, and Stanley sought to maintain and increase their position within SWS by murdering Sedtal.
According to court documents, the SWS is a race-based organization operating inside and outside of jails and prisons in Texas and elsewhere. SWS was founded during the 1990s by inmates within the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. SWS is also known as Solid Wood Soldiers and Separate White State. Although the founders established SWS for protection of white inmates and advancement of white supremacy and white separatism, SWS expanded its objectives to include illegal activities for profit, including trafficking methamphetamine and firearms. SWS protects its power, territory, and profits through intimidation and violence, including assaults, robbery, and murder.
From September 2010 to January 2011, SWS members manufactured shake and bake methamphetamine for distribution in the Orange County area of Texas. In February 2011, Bourque, Guidry and other SWS members became closely associated with Stark-Fitts, who supplied them with crystal methamphetamine and firearms. Crystal methamphetamine is a purer form of methamphetamine. According to information presented in court, the defendants murdered Sedtal in connection with the methamphetamine conspiracy.
Stanley, Guidry and Stark-Fitts pleaded guilty this summer for their respective roles in the murder, and Judge Crone sentenced Stanley and Guidry to life in prison in October 2013. Stark-Fitts is awaiting sentencing and faces from 360 months to life in prison.
This case is being prosecuted as part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods Time Machine Initiative. Time Machine is aimed at reducing gun and gang violence, deterring illegal possession of guns, ammunition and body armor, and improving the safety of residents in the Eastern District of Texas. Participants in the initiative include community members and organizations as well as federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
The case is being investigated by the ATF, FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Bureau of Prisons, DEA, Texas Rangers, Department of Public Safety CID, Texas Department of Criminal Justice OIG, Orange County Sheriffs Office, Hardin County Sheriffs Office, Jasper County Sheriffs Office, Tyler County Sheriffs Office, Jefferson County Sheriffs Office, and Beaumont Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John B. Ross.