11 gang members, associates indicted

Published 4:10 pm Saturday, November 22, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — Eleven suspected gang members and their associates have been indicted on federal gun charges after a multicity takedown that authorities said will cause a significant blow to those behind recent armed robberies, thefts and a gang war that has led to several shootings.

The defendants include three leaders of the Stick Up Boys gang and one leader of the 1-9 gang, authorities said. The other defendants include prominent gang members and associates who supplied the gang with firearms, according to the indictment announced Friday.

The indictment said the two groups are closely related and have been in a gang war with two rival gangs, the Taliban and the YNT, also known as Young ’N Thuggin’. This has led to shootings in which six gang members died and nine were wounded, the indictment alleges.

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Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek called the arrests a “huge win” for law enforcement and area residents, and said it will put a dent in the gangs’ operations for some time.

U.S. Attorney Andy Luger said the arrests took down the gang leadership and got them off the streets. All 11 defendants are charged with conspiracy, and some face additional charges such as being a felon in possession of a firearm or making a false statement during a firearm purchase. If convicted, the main defendants could each face more than 15 years in federal prison.

“With these charges, our offices are together ending a gang war that has brought violence and murder to our community,” Luger said. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and several local police departments were also part of the investigation. Officers recovered about a dozen guns in the two-day operation.

The indictment says that since Jan. 1, 2010, the defendants conspired to illegally obtain firearms due to the gang war, and because they needed the weapons to commit armed robberies, thefts and other crimes. Since several of the defendants are felons and can’t legally buy guns, two people who could would do so and then funnel some of the weapons to gang members, authorities said.

“They would use those guns to terrorize neighborhoods and anyone who stood in their way,” Stanek said.

When asked about the shootings listed in the indictment, Luger said authorities believe most are related to the gang war, and the investigation is still going on. He said it’s possible there could be additional charges.