BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A federal judge in North Dakota has cleared the way to try the 10 defendants who have already been arraigned in a multimillion-dollar Jamaican lottery scam case instead of waiting for the other five suspects to be taken into U.S. custody.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Clare Hochhalter asked U.S. District Judge Dan Hovland to allow the government to proceed to trial without waiting for the remaining defendants to be caught or extradited from Jamaica, saying the mostly elderly victims deserve justice in a case that has already dragged on for more than five years.

Hovland approved the request Wednesday, saying it is "in the best interest of the public and all of the defendants."

A trial date hasn't been set.