The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

January 22, 2013

American Indian gang trio face racketeering trial



MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Three members of a violent American Indian gang known for terrorizing people from the Twin Cities to reservations in greater Minnesota, Wisconsin and beyond will go on trial Tuesday in what authorities call one of the largest gang cases to come out of Indian Country.

Wakinyon Wakan McArthur, 34, — an alleged leader of the Native Mob — and two alleged Native Mob "soldiers," Anthony Francis Cree, 26, and William Earl Morris, 25, are accused of being part of a criminal enterprise that used intimidation and violence to keep the gang in power. They face multiple charges, including conspiracy to participate in racketeering and attempted murder in the aid of racketeering.

Prosecutors said the case is important partly because of its size — 25 people were charged in a 57-count indictment — and because the racketeering charge is a tool rarely used against gangs, indicating this is an attempt to take down the entire enterprise.

"This is a major case on many levels," U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Jeanne Cooney said. "It's one of the largest, if not the largest case dealing with Native American gangs."

The 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment says the Native Mob is one of the largest and most violent American Indian gangs in the U.S., and is most active in Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as Michigan, North Dakota and South Dakota. It is made up of mostly American Indian men and boys, and started in Minneapolis in the 1990s as members fought for turf to deal drugs. The Native Mob is also active in prison.

Tom Heffelfinger, a former U.S. attorney in Minnesota who has worked to curb crime in Indian Country, said racketeering charges were appropriate in this case. While the statutes outlawing racketeering — when multiple people commit crimes together in order to benefit a criminal enterprise — were created to go after groups like the Mafia, Heffelfinger said the statute is well-suited to go after any organized criminal activity.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee