Federal prosecutors in Utah say 18 people associated with "white supremacist gangs" have been charged with trafficking in drugs and illegal possession of firearms.

The US Attorney's Office in Salt Lake City says the gangs named in the 15 indictments unsealed Friday are the Soldiers of Aryan Culture, Silent Aryan Warriors, and Noble Elect Thugs.

Prosecutors say investigators purchased 1.65 pounds of methamphetamine in the operation, and one defendant is also accused of distributing heroin.

An additional three suspects arrested in the sting are charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Eleven of the 21 defendants were arrested Wednesday, while the other 10 were already in custody on other charges. They have not yet made initial appearances in court on the new charges.

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