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:





Today’s Top Stories

All News

Authorities in Washington County are investigating the discovery of the body of a 36-year-old man e...
Devin Oldroyd

UPDATE: Southbound I-15 lanes in Washington County reopen following closure

Utah Highway Patrol reports the partial closure of a portion of southbound I-15 in Washington County. This comes after a trailer rolled Sunday evening.
19 hours ago
major storm...
Samantha Beech and Keith Allen, CNN

Thousands of US flights delayed Sunday as major storm system hampers travel

A major storm across parts of the United States prompts the three major airports servicing New York City to urge passengers to arrive early for flights
19 hours ago
winter storm...
Devin Oldroyd

UDOT warns winter storm bringing roadway impacts

The Utah Department of Transportation is warning drivers that an upcoming winter storm will impact the road from 6 am Monday to noon Tuesday.
19 hours ago
I-15 crash in Murray...
Devin Oldroyd

One person flees I-15 crash in Murray

One person fled from an I-15 crash in Murray Sunday afternoon. According to Utah Highway Patrol, the suspect has been apprehended.
19 hours ago
An attendee walks through the Midway Ice Castles during opening night in Midway on Friday, Dec. 29,...
Devin Oldroyd

Construction begins on Midway ice castles on icicle at a time

Construction has begun on the Midway ice castles. Each castle is crafted one icicle at a time according to a press release.
19 hours ago
Irene Cara in 'Fame' (Photo courtesy of Mgm/Kobal, Shutterstock)...
MARK KENNEDY, AP Entertainment Writer

‘Fame’ and ‘Flashdance’ singer-actor Irene Cara dies at 63

singer-actress Irene Cara, who starred and sang the title cut from the 1980 hit movie “Fame” and then belted out the era-defining hit “Flashdance ... What a Feeling” from 1983's “Flashdance,” has died. She was 63.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Federal charges filed against many white supremacist gang members and associates in Utah