10 member of white supremacists prison gang face racketeering charges

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Ten members of an Idaho-based white supremacist gang, the Aryan Knights, have been indicted on racketeering charges, according to United States Attorney Bart Davis.

Images courtesy Idaho Department of Correction. Pictured left to right are inmates and former inmates Buck Pickens, Lucas Johnson, Christopher Foss, Nicholas Sites, Michael McNabb, Steven Bowman, James Ramsey, Jeremy Brown, Mark Woodland and Harlan Hale.

According to a news release issued Friday, nine of the 10 members were already in the Idaho Department of Corrections custody and four of those were also charged with attempted murder in aid of racketeering said the United States Attorney General. The indictment states those charged, increased their reputation for violence within the IDOC through acts of violence.

Nine of the 10 members charged and already within IDOC custody include Buck Pickens, 30, Lucas Johnson, 30, Christopher Foss, 30, Nicholas Sites, 34, Michael McNabb, 34, Steven Bowman, 36, James Ramsey, 38, Jeremy Brown, 40, and Harlan Hale, 53.

Bowman and Mark Woodland, 48, were charged with attempted murder and assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering for the February 2017 beating and stabbing of an inmate associated with a rival gang.

Gov. Brad Little issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday its indictment of 10 members of an Idaho prison gang called the "Aryan Knights."

"The indictment of this prison gang is a welcome step for Idaho citizens as well as our correctional officers and prisoners," Little said. "The indictment signals the weakening of a criminal enterprise that spreads hatred and crime throughout our communities and threatens the safety of our citizens. In addition, prisoners paying their debt to society who want to turn their lives around should have the opportunity to do so without violence and drugs surrounding them. I commend the collaboration between the Idaho Department of Correction and local and federal law enforcement partners to bring forward this indictment of members of an organized crime organization."

In Count Two, Ramsey and Hale also were charged with attempted murder and assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering for the June 2016 stabbing of an AK member who had come into conflict with Ramsey, the AK's overall leader at the time.

All defendants, except for Johnson, are currently in IDOC custody. Johnson, a former IDOC inmate, was arrested Thursday.

Read the full news release here.

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