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Duke K. Bolter's membership in the Aryan Brotherhood caused heightened security in and around the Del Norte Superior Court Tuesday.

Bolter, according to the California Department of Corrections, is a validated associate of the Aryan Brotherhood, and many of the witnesses slated to testified against him were former members of the same gang - making them prime targets for hits from the notoriously violent group.

Correctional officers working with local law enforcement to protect the community and those involved in the case, Pelican Bay Public Information Officer Ken Thomas said, but he declined to disclose the exact number of officers he had inside the courthouse or the surrounding area.

andquot;We had sufficient security in place to deal with any situation that arose,andquot; he said.

The Aryan Brotherhood started in San Quentin State Prison in 1967 and is considered on the more prominent and organized prison gangs in existence. They are known for their blood in, blood out membership - meaning inmates must kill for membership or die to get out.

- Triplicate staff