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White supremacist leader pleads guilty to drug conspiracy

February 3, 2021 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The leader of a violent white supremacist gang that began in Arkansas’ prisons pleaded guilty Wednesday to his involvement in a racketeering and drug conspiracy.

Wesley Gullett, the president of the New Aryan Empire, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit racketeering and conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

As part of Gullett’s plea deal, he and prosecutors agreed to jointly request a sentence of up to 35 years in prison. A federal judge will decide later whether to accept the agreement and sentence Gullett.

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Prosecutors say New Aryan Empire began as a prison gang in the 1990s and later engaged in narcotics trafficking, witness intimidation and violent acts. Indictments originally returned in 2017 accused 44 gang members of drug and gun crimes, but additional members were accused in 2019 of involvement in violent crimes committed by the group.

Gullett escaped from a local Arkansas jail in 2019, along with another prisoner, but was later captured.

After Wednesday’s plea, six remaining defendants in the case against the gang are awaiting a trial that’s set to begin in September. All of the other defendants in the case have pleaded guilty.