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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 21, 2014

Nearly A Dozen Gang Members Arrested, Indicted For Conspiracy

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives today announced the arrest and federal indictment of 11 individuals charged with organizing and maintaining two street gangs operating throughout Hennepin County.[1] The defendants are comprised of alleged leaders, prominent members, and close associates of the “1-9” and “Stick Up Boys” gangs; both of which worked together to illegally obtain and jointly possess firearms. The federal indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy, felon in possession of a firearm, and making a false statement during the purchase of a firearm.

“The indictment of these alleged gang members is a step forward in the fight against violent crime in Minneapolis,” said U.S. Attorney Luger. “As charged, these defendants engaged in armed robbery and drug dealing to fund the illegal purchases of firearms they used to conduct gang warfare. Minnesotans deserve to live in a community free of gangs and gang warfare. We will continue to charge armed criminal organizations in pursuit of this goal. Thanks to the hard work of our state and federal law enforcement partners, these violent defendants are now off the streets.”

“The dismantling of this criminal enterprise, which we believe to be responsible for numerous acts of violence, is a huge win for law enforcement and the residents of Hennepin County. This successful multi-agency operation should send a clear message to others that future violent crimes will be met with similar enforcement and prosecution efforts,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek.

“As a result of this joint local and federal investigation, a violent group has been removed from the streets of the Twin Cities,” said ATF-St. Paul Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jim Modzelewski, “ATF is committed to combating firearms violence and will continue to utilize all available resources to increase the safety in our communities.”

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, the 1-9 is led by VELTREZ BLACK, a/k/a “Chief,” and the Stick up Boys are led by TYWIN BENDER, a/k/a “Finn Winn,” NITELEN JACKSON, a/k/a “King Nite,” and DONTEVIUS CATCHINGS, a/k/a “Lil Snake.” The defendants coordinated their illegal activities in order to obtain firearms by theft, trading drugs for guns, and by using straw purchasers without felony histories to buy guns for those members of the gang with felony records.

During the period of the indictment, members of the 1-9 and Stick Up Boys were in a gang war with two other rival gangs. The gang war resulted in the shooting deaths and wounding of numerous gang members on both sides of the conflict. At least fifteen alleged gang members have been killed or wounded by gunfire during the gang conflict.

According to the indictment, due to the conflict, members of 1-9 and Stick Up Boys conspired with straw purchasers to illegally acquire and jointly possess firearms. The straw purchasers, identified in the indictment as DEONTAY JONES of Brooklyn Center, and LAKESHA COLEMAN of Minneapolis, purchased at least 10 guns in their own names and provided at least some of those firearms to members of the 1-9 and Stick Up Boys. JONES filed false police reports explaining that these guns were stolen from his home, when in fact, at least two of the guns were provided to 1-9 gang members.

According to the indictment, MARQUES ARMSTONG participated in the conspiracy by making his North Minneapolis residence available as a meeting place for members of the two gangs, and as a place for them to store their guns.

The indictment is the result of an intense investigation conducted by the Hennepin County Violent Offender Task Force (VOTF), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Minneapolis Police Department. The investigation began as part of an ongoing effort to reduce gang activity connected with numerous incidents of violent crime in Hennepin County. VOTF investigators on this case include personnel from the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Brooklyn Park Police Department, Brooklyn Center Police Department, Golden Valley Police Department, and Richfield Police Department.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Paulsen.

Defendant Information:

VELTREZ BLACK, a/k/a “Chief,” 25

Charges:
• Conspiracy- Felon in Possession of Firearms, 1 count
• Felon in Possession of a Firearm, 1 count

TYWIN BENDER, a/k/a “Finn Winn,” 24

Charges:
• Conspiracy- Felon in Possession of Firearms, 1 count

NITELEN JACKSON, a/k/a “King Nite,” 24

Charges:
• Conspiracy- Felon in Possession of Firearms, 1 count
• Felon in Possession of a Firearm, 1 count

DONTEVIUS CATCHINGS, a/k/a “Lil Snake,” 22

Charges:
• Conspiracy- Felon in Possession of Firearms, 1 count
• Felon in Possession of a Firearm, 1 count

CINQUE OWENS, 20

Charges:
• Conspiracy- Felon in Possession of Firearms, 1 count
• Felon in Possession of a Firearm, 1 count

JABARI JOHNSON, 24

Charges:
• Conspiracy- Felon in Possession of Firearms, 1 count
• Felon in Possession of a Firearm, 1 count

DARRYL PARKER, a/k/a “Thirsty,” 27

Charges:
• Conspiracy- Felon in Possession of Firearms, 1 count
• Felon in Possession of a Firearm, 1 count

MARQUIS WOODS, a/k/a “Quis Moe,” 22

Charges:
• Conspiracy- Felon in Possession of Firearms, 1 count
• Felon in Possession of a Firearm, 1 count

MARQUES ARMSTRONG, a/k/a “Lil Kease,” 19

Charges:
• Conspiracy- Felon in Possession of Firearms, 1 count

DEONTAY JONES, 22

Charges:
• Conspiracy- Felon in Possession of Firearms, 1 count
• False Statement During Purchase of a Firearm, 3 counts

LAKESHA COLEMAN, 26

Charges:
• Conspiracy- Felon in Possession of Firearms, 1 count
• False Statement During Purchase of a Firearm, 3 counts

[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

 

 

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Updated April 30, 2015