- Associated Press - Friday, January 15, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A member of the Aryan Brotherhood who sold drugs to an undercover officer and then offered to be a hit man was arrested and charged on a murder-for-hire scheme, the FBI said Friday.

Jeffery A. Howard was arrested Thursday afternoon in Pearl River, Louisiana, a small town on the border with Mississippi, the FBI said in a news release. The FBI would not disclose his age, race or hometown, but said Howard was from Mississippi.

Howard was a known member of the Aryan Brotherhood, a violent white supremacist prison gang, the FBI said.

He was arrested after he sold drugs to an undercover law enforcement officer several times and then offered to be a paid hit man, the agency said.

The FBI said Howard was arrested by an FBI SWAT team at 3:45 p.m. The agency said a domestic terrorism investigation led agents to Howard.

Howard was charged with a murder-for-hire scheme and placed in the custody of the U.S. Marshal’s Service. The agency also said Howard was involved in trafficking methamphetamine.

Howard was to make an initial court appearance later Friday in federal court in New Orleans, said FBI spokesman Craig Betbeze. He declined to provide more details about the case.

Howard’s arrest record was under seal. Bond information was not immediately available and it was unknown whether he is represented by an attorney who could comment on the case.

Also involved in the arrest were the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office, the FBI said. Both offices declined to comment.

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