KKK leader sent back to prison after conviction for cross burning in black Alabama neighborhood

The Associated Press/September 23, 2015

Montgomery, Alabama — A former Ku Klux Klan leader who pleaded guilty to burning a cross in an African-American neighborhood was ordered Wednesday to return to prison for violating terms of his probation.

U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins ordered Steven Joshua Dinkle, 30, back to prison for 10 months.

Last year Dinkle pleaded guilty for his role in burning a cross outside a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Ozark, Alabama, in 2009 to intimidate its residents. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate housing rights and obstruction of justice.

A judge last year sentenced Dinkle to two years in prison. He was freed in May and placed on three years of supervised release.

Federal probation officers said Dinkle failed to comply with his release terms. They said he failed to show up for a mental evaluation, moved out of his residence without telling them and fled the city. Deputy U.S. marshals arrested Dinkle in August when he was found in a mobile home in Tuscaloosa, outside the Middle District of Alabama.

Dinkle admitting breaking the terms of his supervised release and his defense lawyer and a prosecutor agreed to the 10-month incarceration.

He will not be on supervised release when he finishes the 10 months.

Investigators said Dinkle was the exalted Cyclops of the Ozark chapter of the KKK.

Ozark, a town of about 15,000 people, is 85 miles south of Montgomery

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