BOISE, Idaho — Ten members of an Idaho white supremacist prison gang have been indicted on federal charges, including racketeering, attempted murder and drug trafficking, officials announced.
US Attorney Bart Davis said at a news conference Thursday afternoon that those charged are all members of the Aryan Knights, an organized prison gang that has operated in the Idaho prison system since the 1990s and has more than 100 members.
Nine members of the gang are charged with conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, Davis said. They were identified as:
- James Ramsey, age 38
- Christopher Foss, age 30
- Harlan Hale, age 53
- Steven Bowman, age 36
- Jeremy Brown, age 40
- Nicolas Sites, age 34
- Buck Pickens, age 30
- Lucas Johnson, age 30
- Michael McNabb, age 34
Ramsey and Hale are also charged with attempted murder and assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering. Davis said those charges stemmed from a June 2016 stabbing of an Aryan Knights member who had come into conflict with Ramsey, who was the group's leader at the time.
Bowman and Mark Woodland, 48, are charged with attempted murder and assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering in connection to the February 2017 beating and stabbing of an inmate in a rival prison gang.
Davis said all of those charged are currently in IDOC custody, except for Johnson, a former inmate who was arrested on Wednesday.
"This indictment is the result of remarkable collaboration between state and federal investigators," Davis said. "It shows the commitment of law enforcement at all levels in Idaho to root out crime wherever it occurs."
The investigation was prompted by information uncovered by the Idaho Department of Correction's Special Investigations Unit, Davis said, and involved help from the FBI, the Ada County Sheriff's Office and the Ada County Prosecutor's Office.
Ramsey, Foss, Hale, Bowman, Sites, Pickens, and Johnson all face up to life in prison on the racketeering charges, while Brown and McNabb face up to 20 years if convicted on racketeering charges.
Those charged with attempted murder and assault with a dangerous weapon face up to 20 years in prison on each charge, if convicted.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little released the following statement on the indictments:
"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," Governor Brad Little said.