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Trial delayed for white supremacist gang members in Arkansas

March 10, 2020 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The trial of members of a white supremacist gang accused in Arkansas of a string of violent tactics and drug trafficking has been delayed until August.

U.S. District Judge Brian Miller on Monday granted the delay in the trial of New Aryan Empire members. The trial, which was to have begun March 23, will now begin Aug. 24. Miller wrote that he expected the trial to last eight to 12 weeks.

Prosecutors say New Aryan Empire began as a prison gang in the 1990s but now engages in narcotics trafficking, witness intimidation and violent acts. Indictments originally returned in 2017 accuse 44 gang members of drug and gun crimes, but additional members were accused last year of involvement in violent crimes committed by the group.

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The leader of the gang escaped from a local Arkansas jail last year, along with another prisoner, but was later captured.