Federal charges filed against many white supremacist gang members and associates in Utah

Oct 16, 2020, 3:40 PM | Updated: 6:17 pm

white supremacist Utah...

Law enforcement officials the federal criminal charges filed against white supremacist gang members and associates in Utah. Photo: KSL NewsRadio via Facebook Live video

SALT LAKE CITY– Prosecutors filed federal charges against 21 white supremacist gang members and associates accused of drug distribution and illegal weapons trafficking in Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah. 

The charges include the distribution of methamphetamine, firearm possession of felon, and possession of a firearm during and in relation to a narcotics trafficking offense, the US Attorney John W. Huber for the District of Utah announced Friday. 

“Unfortunately, this is a Utah problem,” said Huber, referring to white supremacist gangs. 


Law enforcement officials said the white supremacist gang members facing criminal charges in Utah hold affiliations with Soldiers of Aryan Culture (SAC), Silent Aryan Warriors (SAW), and Noble Elect Thugs (NET).  Huber says these groups create a very large and complex criminal underworld.

“[It’s] more pervasive and dangerous than most Utahns could imagine.”

Huber says SAC was founded in the 90’s inside the Utah State Prison system, and has grown into a large organization.

He said, “It’s one of ours.  We own it and we’re not proud of it.”

During the course of the investigation, investigators found more than 1.5 pounds of meth and 15 guns.  Plus, they reportedly took down a meth lab in Utah, which are becoming less common.  Huber says most of the drugs they’re getting come from Mexico.

“Mexican drug cartels are the source of supply of cheap methamphetamine, heroin and now that most dangerous substance, fentanyl,” according to Huber.

Salt Lake Area Gang Project Director Lt. Mike Schoenfeld says these groups are mostly tied with things like forgery and identity theft, but many of the suspects they arrested had already been in prison for violent offenses.

“White supremacy groups are tied to everything from simple mail theft and identity theft to homicide,” Schoenfeld says.

Investigators say groups like SAC and SAW will hold to their racial lines very strongly while in prison, but once out, they’ll work with any criminal operation they can, no matter their race or religion.

“White supremacist groups work across racial lines with other gangs outside of the prison system for narcotics and firearms,” according to Schoenfeld.

Finding and tracking these drug shipments is getting harder to do since cartels are becoming “more creative” in their manufacturing, Schoefeld says.  He says cartels have been trying to make their own fentanyl and found ways to keep streets filled with drugs, even during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before the news conference, Huber said the federal court unsealed 15 indictments earlier in the day. The indictments came out of an investigation that started in June 2019. Many federal and local law enforcement agencies contributed to the investigation into the possible crimes committed by white supremacists gang members and associates. 

Officials issued arrest warrants for 11 of the suspects in connection to the crimes. Some of the suspects are already in police custody and even charged with unrelated crimes.  

Related content:





We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

Liver and kidney transplant patient Luis Campos says he's grateful he had a Spanish-speaking team....

Eric Cabrera

Murray kidney clinic helping the Latino community

MURRAY, Utah — Intermountain Health has taken steps to address healthcare in Latino communities by opening Utah’s first fully Spanish-speaking Kidney Transplant Clinic. The Intermountain Clinica Hispana de Riñon (Hispanic Kidney Clinic), in Murray, aims to provide a space for members of the Latino community navigating the complex kidney transplant process. The clinic has bilingual professionals, […]

4 hours ago

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this image of the Intuitive Machines Nova-C lander, al...

Jackie Wattles, CNN

Odysseus lunar lander shares new photos from its harrowing descent

The vehicle softly touched down on the moon on Thursday, becoming the first US-made lander to do so since the Apollo era.

5 hours ago

FILE: Sen. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork, and Rep. Jordan Teuscher, R-South Jordan, speak about their...

Aimee Cobabe

Bill allowing parents to sue social media companies moves closer to becoming law

HB464 gives Utah parents the power to sue a social media company if their child develops mental health issues after using the apps

6 hours ago

FILE: An Angel bike given to the family of Eli Mitchell in April, 2023. Mitchell was hit and killed...

Britt Johnson

Families of drunk driving victims fight possible new Utah liquor license legislation

The bill sponsored by Rep. Jefferson Burton would increase the number of liquor licenses issued by the state of Utah.

7 hours ago

Vehicles at Weber Fire District Station shown, the station responded to an oil spill in ogden today...

Dan Bammes

Ogden Hazmat responds to oily spill on 21st Street and I-15

The spill resulted in a level 2, or moderate, hazmat response with the priority of keeping the mixture off of I-15 in Ogden.

8 hours ago

Homelessness grew by 12% in 2023 from last year, meaning 70,650 more people were unhoused....

Mariah Maynes

No one-size-fits-all solution to help those experiencing homelessness, expert says

Those experiencing homelessness in Utah often are presented with similar options, regardless of their situation. 

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Federal charges filed against many white supremacist gang members and associates in Utah