'General' for White Supremacist Group Gets Prison Sentence

'General' for White Supremacist Group Gets Prison Sentence

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A ranking member of one of Utah's most violent gangs, who took part in a courtroom brawl last year, was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison on a felony racketeering charge.

Steve Mack Swena, 27, admitted while entering a plea in April that he was a general in the group Soldiers of Aryan Culture, which is accused of seven attempted murders, bloody assaults, extortion and drug-running.

The group, formed at the Utah State Prison in 1997, included inmates, fugitives and parolees who are considered members for life.

Swena pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. In exchange, two other racketeering counts were dropped.

Swena and 11 other men, including his brother, Tracy Swena, were charged under the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act.

As a condition of his sentence, U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart ordered Swena to refrain from contact with known gang members and not to possess any firearms or drugs.

In last November's courtroom brawl, Swena spit at a federal marshal as three other defendants jumped up to shout profanities. Marshals put one of the defendants in a choke-hold, another against a wall and were preparing to fire a stun gun at a third defendant when all three relented.

The gang members were reacting to an order by Magistrate Samuel Alba that cut off their phone calls and family visits because of threats made to prosecutors.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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