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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Minneapolis-Based Gang Leader Sentenced to 15 Years in Prison for Distribution of Crack Cocaine and Possession of a Firearm During a Drug Trafficking Crime

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger yesterday announced the sentencing of LOUIS LEE FRASIER BANKS, 26, a leader of a known Minneapolis gang, the Taliban/Young N’ Thuggin (YNT) gang. On March 4, 2015, BANKS was charged in a seven-defendant indictment with conspiracy to distribute cocaine base (crack) and distribution of crack. On October 13, 2015 BANKS pleaded guilty to a two count information charging him with conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine and possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.  The defendants include other members of the gang. BANKS appeared yesterday before U.S. District Judge Patrick J. Schultz.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, between January and December 2014, the defendants named in the indictment were organizers and members of two closely associated street gangs, the Taliban and the YNT. BANKS had more influence in the gangs, based on seniority and criminal activity. The Taliban/YNT gangs claim an area of north Minneapolis as their territory, and other north Minneapolis gangs, including the 1-9 Dipset and Stick Up Boys, as enemies. The members carry guns to protect themselves and their money against their rivals, in order to further their ability to sell illegal drugs.         

                                    
According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, the Taliban/YNT are organized for the purpose of making money by trafficking illegal drugs, among other criminal activity. Members of the Taliban/YNT frequently travel to St. Cloud and Duluth, Minnesota, and to Fargo, North Dakota, to sell crack. Crack that the Taliban/ YNT could sell in Minneapolis for $20 could be sold for $50 in Greater Minnesota and in North Dakota. Similarly, an amount of crack cocaine sold for $150 in the Metro area would sell for between $220 and $250 in Greater Minnesota.

The other defendants in this case were sentenced as follows: CARNEL LAVEL HARRISON, a/k/a “Boo Man,” 26, was sentenced to 120 months in prison and 5 years of supervised release. DEJUAN PIERRE DARKYSE WASHINGTON, a/k/a “DJ,” 25, was sentenced to 120 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release. LAQUEDRICK LEMEL AS-SIDIQ, a/k/a “Quady,” a/k/a “C,” 26, was sentenced to 120 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release. DONTE TRAMAYNE SMITH, a/k/a “Five,” 26, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release. CORTEZ DAVON BLAKEMORE, a/k/a “Tez,” 26, was sentenced to 21 months in prison and 3 years of supervised release. Defendant TERRELL VONSHAY ROBERSON, a/k/a “Get Right,” a/k/a “Slim,” is awaiting sentencing.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Safe Streets Task Force, which is comprised of federal and local law enforcement agencies, including, but not limited to, the FBI, Minneapolis Police Department, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and St. Paul Police Department. The St. Cloud Violent Crimes Task Force and the St. Cloud Police Department were a critical part of this investigation.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Steinkamp.

 

Defendant Information:

LOUIS LEE FRASIER BANKS, a/k/a “G.I.,” 26

Anoka County Jail

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to distribute Cocaine Base, 1 count
  • Felon in Possession of a Firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, 1 count

Sentenced:

  • 15 years in prison
  • 5 years of supervised release

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

Updated August 10, 2016