U.S Attorney's Office
District of Minnesota
(612) 664-5600
October 7, 2014

Native Mob Gang Leader Sentenced to 43 Years in Prison

United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced the sentence last week of WAKINYON WAKAN MCARTHUR, a/k/a “Kon,” a/k/a “Killa,” 36, the former leader of the Native Mob, to 43 years in prison. WILLIAM EARL MORRIS, 27, and ANTHONY FRANCIS CREE, 27, were also sentenced to 35 years and approximately 24 years respectively. The defendants were convicted by a jury on March 19, 2013, after a trial lasting nearly seven weeks. They were sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis before United States District Court Judge John R. Tunheim.

As proven at trial, the Native Mob is a regional criminal organization that originated in Minneapolis in the early 1990s. Members routinely engage in drug trafficking, assault, robbery, and other violent crime, including murder. Membership is estimated at 200, with new members, including juveniles, regularly recruited from communities with large, male, Native American populations. Association with the gang is often signified by wearing red and black clothing or sporting gang-related tattoos. According to the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment, the Native Mob is one of the largest and most violent Native American gangs in the U.S. and is most active in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

As proven at trial and according to documents filed in court, since at least the mid-1990s, MCARTHUR, MORRIS, CREE, and others have conspired to engage in criminal activity through the Native Mob, in violation of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The primary objective of the Native Mob is to preserve, protect, promote, and enhance its power, territory, and finances, which gang members sought to accomplish by distributing illegal drugs, including crack cocaine. Native Mob members also provide financial support to other members, including those incarcerated; share with one another police reports, victim statements, and other case discovery; hinder or obstruct officials from identifying or apprehending those wanted by the law; and intimidate witnesses to Native Mob crimes. Moreover, they maintain and circulate firearms for gang use and commit acts of violence, including murder, against individuals associated with rival gangs.

In addition to MCARTHUR, MORRIS, and CREE, 25 other defendants have pleaded guilty or been convicted of conspiracy and other crimes related to their membership in the Native Mob. Those defendants were sentenced to between 2 ½ and 43 years in prison for their crimes. This case was the result of a long-term, cross-jurisdictional investigation conducted by numerous local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement officers. These agencies include representatives from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs; the FBI-funded Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force; the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force; the Minnesota Department of Corrections; the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension; the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office; the Mille Lacs Tribal Police Department; the Bemidji Police Department; and the Minneapolis Police Department. These investigators were assisted by those from—in alphabetical order—the Becker County Sheriff’s Office, the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, the Carlton County Attorney’s Office, the Cass County Attorney’s Office, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office, the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office of Wisconsin, the Duluth Police Department, the Fon du Lac Tribal Police Department, the Fridley Police Department, the Itasca County Sheriff’s Department, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office, the Leech Lake Tribal Police Department, the LCO Reservation Police Department, the Lower Sioux Tribal Police Department, the Mahnomen County Sheriff’s Office, the Minnesota State Patrol, the Mille Lacs County Attorney’s Office, the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office, the New Brighton Police Department, the North Central Drug Task Force, the Prior Lake Police Department, the Red Lake Tribal Police Department, the Redwood County Sheriff’s Office, the Richfield Police Department, the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office, the St. Paul Police Department, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Minneapolis Violent Offender Task Force, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and the White Earth Tribal Police Department.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew R. Winter and Steven L. Schleicher.

Defendant Information:

WAKINYON WAKAN MCARTHUR, 36 Cass Lake, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to Participate in Racketeering Activity, one count
  • Conspiracy to Use and Carry Firearms During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, one count
  • Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances, one count
  • Distribution of a Controlled Substance, one count
  • Use and Carrying of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, two counts

Sentenced:

  • 43 years in federal prison

ANTHONY FRANCIS CREE, 27 Cass Lake, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Conspiracy to Participate in Racketeering Activity, one count
  • Conspiracy to Use and Carry Firearms During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, one count
  • Attempted Murder in Aid of Racketeering, one count
  • Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering, one count
  • Use and Carrying of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, one count
  • Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances, one count

Sentenced:

  • 24 1/3 years in federal prison

WILLIAM EARL MORRIS, 27 Cass Lake, Minn.

Convicted:

  • Attempted Murder in Aid of Racketeering, one count
  • Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Aid of Racketeering, one count
  • Use and Carrying of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, one count
  • Armed Career Criminal in Possession of a Firearm, one count

Sentenced:

  • 35 years in federal prison
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