3 charged as officials get tough with hate groups

Deseret News/November 19, 2002

Santa Ana , Calif. -- Authorities on Monday charged two alleged leaders of white supremacist organizations and a third man with a range of crimes as part of what they called an effort to head off hate-related violence.

Two of the three were accused of possessing bomb-making materials two years ago, but Orange County authorities conceded they knew of no specific plot. Two of those charged were arrested early Monday. The third person was already in prison.

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said the action was part of a law enforcement effort to target such groups.

Jack Frederick Steele II, 29, was charged with three felony counts of falsifying documents, one felony count of perjury and one count of possessing a firearm with a prior conviction. Steele was described as the leader of California 's chapter of the Aryan Nations.

During a search of Steele's house, Thompson said, authorities found a letter addressed to a white supremacist group advocating that the Aryan Nations align itself with Islamic extremists to target Jews and the U.S. government.

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