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Press Release

Two Charged With Conspiracy To Retaliate Against Witness In Federal Trial Of Prominent 1-9 Gang Member

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Minnesota

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced the indictment of TYWIN BENDER, a/k/a/ “Finn Winn,” 25, and ROYAL ANGEL HINES, 20, for conspiring to retaliate against two federal witnesses. HINES made an initial appearance yesterday before Magistrate Judge Tony Leung in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn. BENDER will make an initial appearance today in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minn.

“Witness retaliation is an assault on the integrity of our criminal justice system itself,” said U.S. Attorney Luger. “We rely on the honest testimony of witnesses to make communities safer and deliver justice. Retaliatory violence against those witnesses will be dealt with to the fullest extent allowable by law.”

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, BENDER is presently incarcerated at Minnesota Correctional Facility (MCF) – Stillwater on a 75-month sentence for aggravated robbery. He is a member of a North Minneapolis street gang known as the “Stick up Boys.” In November 2014, BENDER was charged in an 11-defendant indictment with conspiracy to possess firearms. BENDER pleaded guilty on October 8, 2015, to the conspiracy. One of his co-defendants, Veltrez Black, a/k/a, “Chief,” was convicted by a jury on October 22, 2015, of conspiracy and other charges contained in the same indictment.

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, during the trial of Black, A.L., a member of the “Stick up Boys,” and K.W., a member of a rival street gang known as the “Taliban,” testified as government witnesses against Black. The day after Black was convicted, BENDER placed a phone call to HINES during which he directed HINES to send an e-mail to two inmates incarcerated at MCF – Rush City, which is the same facility where federal witnesses A.L and K.W. are incarcerated. BENDER dictated the content of the email to HINES as follows: “The nigga Bonus [nickname for A.L.] is a rat. Smash him as soon as you all catch him. Green light. No passes. No talking. He got on the stand on Chief.”

According to the indictment and documents filed in court, HINES sent one e-mail that BENDER had dictated to her to each of the two inmates at MCF – Rush City. One of the emails was intercepted by Department of Corrections employees before it was received but the other e-mail was not intercepted.

This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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

 

Defendant Information:

TYWIN BENDER, a/k/a/ “Finn Winn,” 25

Stillwater, Minn.

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to retaliate against a federal witness, 1 count

ROYAL ANGEL HINES, 20

St. Paul, Minn.

Charges:

  • Conspiracy to retaliate against a federal witness, 1 count

     

 

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

 

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

 

Updated November 5, 2015