The BBC reports that Federal officers in Arkansas arrested 54 people who are linked to the New Aryan Empire N.A.E.), a white supremacist group which is known for Nazi swastikas and Heil Hitler salutes. The charges include murder, conspiracy, and drug trafficking.
Prosecutors say the gang first formed in an Arkansas jail in 1990. Authorities seized 69 guns, 25lbs (11kg) of methamphetamine and over $70,000 in drug money.
The New York Times said, “the violent gang kidnapped, maimed and tried to kill to protect its drug-trafficking operations.”
The Times report also noted that “The N.A.E. is reprehensible in its admiration for Nazi imagery and racist views, but even more alarming are the crimes and violence perpetrated by these defendants, said David Rybicki, a deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.”
He added that the defendant’s activities were similar to those of gangs like MS-13, the Bloods, the Crips, and the Aryan Brotherhood, and said the department was working closely with law enforcement agencies across the country to combat the groups.
OUR FREE OPINION
The defendants are being prosecuted under the federal RICO statutes that permit prosecutors to seek stiff penalties—particularly for the ring-leaders of the gang. Life sentences are likely for many of the defendants. It is also probable that many of the members that make up the lower hierarchy of the group will quickly roll-over on the leaders in exchange for lesser sentences. We are pleased to hear that RICO statutes are being applied in this ugly case.