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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 21, 2020

Five South Minneapolis Gang Members Sentenced To Prison For Violent Drug Trafficking Conspiracy

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced the sentencing of five individuals connected with the 10z/20z south Minneapolis street gangs. ALKWAN KWAME LAWSON-HOLIDAY, 30, LE’KEITH ALI DU’JUAN RAYFORD, 28, KENNETH LAMONT THOMPSON, 34, MAURICE JERRY JOHNSON, 29, and LENARDO ALEXZANDER WOODARD, 32, were convicted and sentenced for crimes related to violent gang activity, including trafficking crack cocaine and illegal possession of firearms. The sentencing proceedings were held before Judge Joan N. Ericksen in United States District Court in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald stated, “Violent groups who use guns to carry out their drug trafficking operations bring death and destruction to our communities. This type of criminal activity is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. All five of these individuals have faced justice and must account for the serious crimes they have committed.”

According to the defendants’ guilty pleas and documents filed in court, the defendants maintained active membership in or association with the 10z/20z south Minneapolis street gangs, with the purpose of making money for the gang through criminal acts, including distribution of crack cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. As part of their drug distribution schemes, members of the gangs possessed, carried and used firearms in order to protect their drug distribution network from rival gangs, and to protect drug distributors from being robbed of narcotics or money.

According to the defendants’ guilty pleas and documents filed in court, RAYFORD, THOMPSON, JOHNSON, and WOODARD were involved in a conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of their drug trafficking crimes. Their criminal activities included, among other things, multiple crack cocaine and heroin sales, as well as repeated possession of illegal firearms.

This case was the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force, which is comprised of federal and local law enforcement agencies, including, but not limited to, the FBI, the Minneapolis Police Department, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the St. Paul Police Department. The Minnesota Department of Corrections also provided assistance in this case. This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), an initiative that brings together federal, state, and local law enforcement to combat violent crime. This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Calhoun-Lopez prosecuted the case.

 

Defendant Information:

ALKWAN KWAME LAWSON-HOLIDAY, a/k/a “Lucky,” a/k/a “Kweezy,” 30

Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Distributing a controlled substance, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 57 months in prison
  • Three years of supervised release

 

LE’KEITH ALI DU’JUAN RAYFORD, a/k/a “Fatty,” 28

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 78 months in prison
  • Three years of supervised release

 

KENNETH LAMONT THOMPSON, a/k/a “Kenny OG,” a/k/a “KG,” 34

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 100 months in prison
  • Three years of supervised release

 

MAURICE JERRY JOHNSON, a/k/a “Reese,” a/k/a “Loco,” 29

Minneapolis, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 60 months in prison
  • Three years of supervised release

 

LENARDO ALEXZANDER WOODARD, a/k/a “Naughty,” 32

Brooklyn Park, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 51 months in prison
  • Three years of supervised release

 

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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Updated February 21, 2020