BOISE, Idaho (KLIX)-Federal authorities have charged ten members of the Idaho prison gang, Aryan Knights, using the RICO Act. In an announcement on Thursday, U.S. Attorney Bart Davis' office said the charges stem from an investigation by the FBI at the request of the Idaho Department of Correction using the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO).

A federal grand jury indicted 10 members of the gang that formed in the Idaho prison system in the mid-1990s, but also operates outside Idaho prison facilities. The group holds white supremacist and white separatist ideologies, according the Davis' announcement. The indictment alleges the ten were able to smuggle large amounts of illicit drugs into the prison system, resulting in generated revenue and the laundering of proceeds through an outside business.

Nine of those charged were charged with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, while two of the ten were also charged with attempted murder and assault with a dangerous weapon in the aid of racketeering after a stabbing. A third count charges two men of attempted murder and assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering for the beating and stabbing of an inmate associated with a rival prison gang.

Gov. Brad Little released a statement after the indictment was announced:

The indictment of this prison gang is a welcome step for Idaho citizens as well as our correctional officers and prisoners. 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,

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