RUTLAND, VT. >> A 55-year-old lieutenant in the Aryan Brotherhood white supremacist gang has pleaded guilty to federal drug and gun charges.

The Rutland Herald reports Christopher Pappano entered the pleas Wednesday in Rutland federal court to charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, possessing stolen firearms and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

The maximum sentence for the Milton resident's charges is 40 years behind bars. Pappano's plea agreement states that he potentially faces only a 10-year sentence.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives officials say agents have been investigating Pappano's activities since the fall of 2014.

Pappano, aka "Little Giant," founded the Vermont-based motorcycle gang Brotherhood Family Club.

U.S. Attorney William Darrow says the gang grew from a riding club to an increasingly violent organization that dealt cocaine.

Information from: Rutland Herald,