Feds say Native Mob gang dented but work remains

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 20, 2013 at 8:26 am •  Published: March 20, 2013
Advertisement
;

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Federal prosecutors say they've weakened a violent American Indian gang known for terrorizing people in the Upper Midwest now that an alleged leader and two members have been convicted in one of the largest gang cases to come out of Indian Country.

But investigators acknowledge their work isn't done in Minnesota or other states where the Native Mob is active, noting that the gang has been around for a long time.

"We have some conservative confidence that we did put a dent (in the gang) but we're also very realistic and know that law enforcement will continue to pursue gang activity including the Native Mob," Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Winter said after jurors handed down convictions Tuesday on an array of racketeering and other charges.

"The verdicts reflect the seriousness of the crimes that were being committed by the Native Mob, which includes not only drug trafficking, but discharging of firearms at innocent people, and trafficking firearms, and basically wreaking havoc through communities throughout the state of Minnesota," he said.

A federal jury in Minneapolis convicted the alleged Native Mob leader, 34-year-old Wakinyon Wakan McArthur, on drug and weapons charges — but also on a charge of racketeering conspiracy, which is often used to target organized crime.

Two of the gang's alleged "soldiers" — Anthony Francis Cree, 26, and William Earl Morris, 25 — also were convicted of multiple charges including attempted murder in aid of racketeering. The latter charge stemmed from the shooting of another man that prosecutors alleged McArthur ordered, though his attorneys disputed the claim and McArthur was acquitted on that charge. But only Morris was acquitted on the top racketeering charge.

Defense attorneys said the government's case was overblown, arguing that while gang members may have committed individual crimes, there was no evidence to support racketeering charges alleging the trio was part of a large, organized criminal group.

The three men were the only defendants who rejected plea deals after 25 people were indicted in the case last year. Several of those individuals testified during the trial, which Winter said should give other gang members pause knowing they can't trust their co-conspirators.

A sentencing date has not yet been set, but all three men face between 20 years and life in prison, prosecutors said.

"The Native Mob has been a real detriment to native American communities throughout the state of Minnesota," fellow prosecutor Steve Schliecher said. "Their game plan is to promote fear, and that's the base of their power, and I think their power is diminished by this jury's verdict. It's going to allow people to have the rights to not live in fear, to continue on their peaceful lives."

| |

Advertisement


Trending Now



AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    KFOR: Biological mother wants adopted son back from powerful family
  2. 2
    Authorities: Dozen arrested in Oklahoma ranch meth lab investigation
  3. 3
    Photo Of Obama In Attack Ad Is Photoshopped From Hospital Trip After Aurora Shooting
  4. 4
    WATCH: Trailer for 'Iverson' documentary
  5. 5
    Herschel Walker says he could still play in NFL
+ show more