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Native Mob gang members plead to lesser charges in federal case

A few months ago, we reported on the federally orchestrated, statewide takedown of the Native Mob that shuttered Minnesota prisons for an entire day.

Following the initial arrests, the feds unsealed an indictment naming 24 alleged members of the violent, Minnesota-born gang, with charges including racketeering, drug dealing, witness tampering, and many more.

In the past eight weeks, nine of the accused have pleaded guilty, some to considerably lesser charges, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

One gang member, Damien Lee Beaulieu, faced 15 charges -- including two counts of attempted murder in aid of racketeering -- and pleaded to a single count of RICO conspiracy, a charge that allows for extended penalties for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization.

Derrick Dewayne Williams also pleaded to the single RICO charge, though he was originally charged with attempted murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering, and three other counts.

Jeanne Cooney, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, wouldn't comment on the specifics of the pleas, but says a number of factors can lead to reduced charges, including a closer look at the evidence or cooperation from the defendants.

"We don't ever discuss specific plea agreements," says Cooney, in a statement to City Pages. "However, generally speaking, the elimination of charges in a plea deal may be the result of a more thorough examination of the evidence against the defendant, the cooperative or uncooperative nature of witnesses against the defendant, or the cooperation of the defendant in the investigation of others suspected of involvement in the crime, particularly those who may have played a much greater role."

After the indictment was unsealed in January, the alleged gang members had trial dates set to begin in early May, but there is currently no trial scheduled for the 15 who have not pleaded guilty.

No one has been sentenced yet. Cooney also notes that related cases are ongoing, and more indictments could be on the way.

 

Here are the nine who have pleaded, all to a single RICO count, according to information provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office:

Damien Lee Beaulieu a.k.a. "Dames" and "Damez" Pleaded April 19 to RICO conspiracy.

Charges dropped per plea agreement:
-Conspiracy to use and carry firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence.
-Attempted murder in aid of racketeering (two counts).
-Assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering (five counts).
-Use and carrying of firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence (five counts)
-Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Codey Joseph Stone
Pleaded May 8 to RICO conspiracy.

Charges dropped per plea agreement:
-Conspiracy to use and carry firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence.
-Assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering.
-Use and carrying of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
-Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Justen Lee Poitra a.k.a. "Justo" Pleaded April 19 to RICO conspiracy.

Charges dropped per plea agreement:
-Conspiracy to use and carry firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence.
-Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Jason Francis Poitra a.k.a. "J-Twin"
Pleaded April 19 to RICO conspiracy.

Charges dropped per plea agreement:
-Conspiracy to use and carry firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence.
-Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.

Matthew Steven Poitra a.k.a. "Chewy"
Pleaded April 20 to RICO conspiracy.

Charges dropped per plea agreement:
-Conspiracy to use and carry firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Derrick Dewayne Williams a.k.a. "DJ" Pleaded May 8 to RICO conspiracy.

Charges dropped per plea agreement:
-Conspiracy to use and carry firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence.
-Attempted murder in aid of racketeering.
-Assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering.
-Use and carrying of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
-Felon in possession of a firearm.

Aaron James Gilbert, Jr. a.k.a. "Fatboy"
Pleaded April 20 to RICO conspiracy.

Charges dropped per plea agreement:
-Conspiracy to use and carry firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence.
-Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
-Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Dale John Pindegayosh a.k.a. "JP"
Pleaded April 5 to RICO conspiracy.

Charges dropped per plea agreement:
-Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
-Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
-Felon in possession of ammunition.

Lance Maurice Hanks a.k.a. "LB"
Pleaded May 8 to RICO conspiracy.

Charges dropped per plea agreement:
-Conspiracy to use and carry firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence.
-Attempted murder in aid of racketeering.
-Assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering.
-Use and carrying of firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

More Native Mob coverage:

  • Native Mob member to deputy: You're going to get f*cked up
  • Native Mob takedown: a closer look at the charges
  • COVER: The Banishing

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