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Nine Aryan gang members among 44 arrested in gun, drug bust in Arkansas

October 13, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Nine Aryan gang members among 44 arrested in gun, drug bust in Arkansas

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Aryan gang members busted for drugs and gun offenses.

Nine Aryan gang members were among with 44 people arrested in Arkansas in a major operation to combat gun and drug offenses in Pope and Yell counties.

The “To The Dirt” probe was named after a New Aryan Empire slogan, which investigators say is in reference that those in the white supremacy group must remain members “until they die.” It was initiated by Cody Hiland, who was newly appointed as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas.

“This morning, 200 officers, including 120 tactical officers led an operation to arrest many of these individuals,” Hiland said. “One house had 25 guns. Another house had 14. Those include AR-15, AK-47, high-capacity rifles.”

The arrests took place on Wednesday morning where officers confiscated 46 firearms, bringing the total numbers of seized guns to 69 in total. Among the weapons seized, authorities discovered handguns, rifles, and “assault-style rifles.”

Nine white supremacists were among 44 busted on drug and gun charges in Arkansas

“Citizens have the Second Amendment right, and I support it. But when you have a felon involved, and you have people using them in the process of committing drug crimes, that’s when you have problems,” Hiland continued.

Authorities identified eight of the Aryan gang members belonging to the New Aryan Empire while the ninth arrested belonged to the White Aryan Resistance, THV11 reported.

The probe was launched in 2016 when local authorities noticed various crimes being carried out by New Aryan Empire members.

“It became apparent that the meth trafficking in the area went far beyond only NAE members,” the announcement stated.

During the investigation, police made 59 controlled meth purchases, seizing over 25 pounds of the illegal drug. They also confiscated more than $70,000 in drug proceeds.

“Methamphetamine has disproportionately affected our state. I grew up in Van Buren County, Arkansas. You just look at Van Buren County and the impact it has had there. Methamphetamine is a scourge. It needs to be stamped out,” Hiland stated. “Targeting violent, armed dealers will be a priority for my office, as well as for all law enforcement agencies in central Arkansas.”

Though police apprehended 44 people Wednesday, 11 federal fugitives and 12 state fugitives remain on the lam. In sum, 200 police officers worked in arresting people in the raid.

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