Twenty-one alleged associates of Idaho's Aryan Knights have been charged with drug and weapon offenses as a result of a federal drug investigation.

The investigation began when the task force focused on illegal drug distribution by the Aryan Knights gang, which is active in prison and on the streets throughout Idaho, according to the FBI.

Through the investigation, law enforcement agents identified Aryan Knights gang members who were trafficking methamphetamine, as well as associates of the gang who were the source of that methamphetamine.

White supremacist gangs such as the Aryan Knights usually operate independently, but may have a partnership with the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, said POLICE gang expert Richard Valdemar.

"They may have some kind of a mutual pact," said Valdemar. "That doesn't mean an Aryan Knight is a member of the Aryan Brotherhood."

On Wednesday, 35-year-old Christina Massie, of Boise, pleaded guilty to possessing two sawed-off shotguns. It is a violation of federal gun laws to have a shotgun less than 18 inches in length. She had previously convicted of the felony crime of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver.

If convicted, Massie faces up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release.

The Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) oversaw the joint investigation that included cooperation by federal agents with the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and U.S. Marshals Service.

State and local officers assisted from the Boise Police Department, Ada County Sheriff's Office, Caldwell Police Department, Nampa Police Department, Meridian Police Department, Canyon County Sheriff's Office, Twin Falls Police Department, Twin Falls Sheriff's Office, and Idaho State Police.

By Paul Clinton