Nation IN BRIEF : FLORIDA : Cult Leader Faces Racketeering Trial

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A black separatist cult leader who built an economic empire in the ghetto with thousands of followers faces trial in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., today on a vast racketeering indictment. Yahweh ben Yahweh, who was born Hulon Mitchell Jr., is accused of running his religious sect as an instrument of terror, masterminding murders and silencing those who did not follow his whims. Fifteen of Mitchell's followers also will be on trial. Mitchell, 56, faces up to 60 years in prison and $60,000 in fines if convicted of conspiracy to commit 15 murders, two attempted murders, extortion, arson and other violence.

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