Hennepin County beat: Alleged 19 Block Dipset gang leader 'Cash' heads to prison

  • Article by: ROCHELLE OLSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 13, 2014 - 5:42 PM

Sometimes the biggest ones go down quietly in the end.

Nobody covered the trial last week of a 28-year-old known on the streets of north Minneapolis as “Cash.”

His full name is Ashimiyu Alowonle and he’s the purported leader of the 19 Block Dipset gang, one of the more violent in the city.

Until Monday, Cash had beaten the odds, surviving as those around him went to prison or died in street violence.

He’s been booked more than 40 times on charges from theft to disorderly conduct, obstruction of justice and first-degree murder. He also survived an assassin’s bullet.

Alowonle was the intended target of heart-shattering killing outside Block E in March 2006. Cash had gotten into a fight with gang member Derick Holliday at a movie theater. When Holliday fired his .44-Magnum, he ended up killing bystander Alan Reitter, a 31-year-old mortgage underwriter from Minnetonka on a night out with friends.

The incident apparently didn’t scare Alowonle straight. He was charged in the fatal shooting of Isalena B. Jones as she left a house in Minneapolis in July 2006. Again, Alowonle beat the odds when he was acquitted by a Hennepin County District Court jury of eight charges including first-degree murder.

His lawyer urged him to leave the Twin Cities and start anew. He didn’t.

In late December, a police raid of a north Minneapolis home yielded seven illegal guns and a substantial stash of ammunition.

Cash and his fellow gangsters were stockpiling guns to avenge the killing of their late leader Tyrone “Ty Crack” Washington.

The prosecutor said Alowonle was in charge of the house and its contents. A jury believed him, convicting Alowonle on Monday of weapons charges.

At trial, Alowonle sat quietly, occasionally whispering to his lawyer Paul Edlund. The defendant wore glasses, a dress shirt and khakis, looking like a young professional with purpose.

Instead, he is going to prison for up to 20 years. If he survives, he gets yet another chance at life.

 

rochelle.olson@startribune.com @rochelleolson

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