The organization was sometimes referenced in the media as the Midwest Bank Robbers. The group was created by Peter Langan and Richard Lee Guthrie in 1992. The group considered themselves a leaderless organization, meaning that there was no true leader to the group and that they were more of a group of associated people acting together to achieve their goals. Although the group was mainly a criminal enterprise, they did have a terrorist like agenda. With the money they were able to steal in the 22 confirmed robberies they were involved in, the group began stockpiling weapons and ammunition. It is believed that the group wished to start a race war with the weapons that were stockpiled. The group began to fall apart as members of the Aryan Republican Army were arrested after one of the former members of the group became an informant as part of a plea bargain. By mid-1996, practically all known members had been apprehended and the group was in shambles.
Members of the Aryan Republican Army were responsible for a series of 22 bank robberies in the American Midwest. They reportedly targeted banks in the Midwest due to a belief that security measures there would be less thorough. Interestingly, the group often left fake explosive devices at the banks they robbed in order to divert law enforcement officials that could potentially be chasing them.
Known members of the ARA include Michael William Brescia, Mark William Thomas, Shawn Kenny, Richard Lee Guthrie Jr., Peter Kevin Langan, Kevin McCarthy, and Scott Stedeford. Subsequent to their arrest, Guthrie, Langan, McCarthy and Thomas became witnesses for the prosecution. Richard Lee Guthrie reportedly hanged himself while in custody, a day before he was to give a television interview about an alleged cover-up related to the death of Kenneth Michael Trentadue, also found hanged while in custody. All members otherwise received prison sentences of varying lengths, on an array of state and/or federal charges