Second Person Indicted in Threat Against Prosecutors

Second Person Indicted in Threat Against Prosecutors

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A second person has been accused of plotting to intimidate federal prosecutors handling the racketeering case against a Utah white-supremacist gang.

An indictment handed up late Wednesday alleged Joe Rakes encouraged a coconspirator to write a letter last year to an assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting 12 men believed to be associated with the Soldiers of the Aryan Culture.

The letter, dated Feb. 28, 2004, said: "It is because of you that my brothers are in jail for the Rico (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act)." It also mentioned the street where the prosecutor lives and concluded, "We will get you."

The letter was signed, "till the Casket drops."

The name of the alleged coconspirator was not included in the Rakes indictment.

However, a Dec. 8 indictment accused April Dowding of mailing the letter to the prosecutor.

Dowding and Rakes are charged with mailing a threatening communication and conspiracy to impede an officer.

The defendants in the SAC case are accused of carrying out violent crimes for the gang, which allegedly operated a methamphetamine ring throughout Utah.

They were accused in a 2003 indictment of attempting seven murders and committing other offenses. Eleven of them are being held in various jails and all are scheduled to go to trial later this year.

Two threats in the case have led to extremely tight security at the jails and during courtroom appearances.

On Nov. 30, U.S. Magistrate Samuel Alba prohibited phone calls and family visits in jail to prevent more threats from being relayed.

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

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