Two dozen suspected members of Native Mob, a Minneapolis-born, American Indian gang, were indicted this week. Matt McKinney and I wrote a story today giving more details about the gang and talking to people familiar with Native Mob about its influence.
This isn't the first time that Native Mob has been on authorities' radar. The gang has been around since the 1990s. We've had several crime stories throughout the years that have mentioned Native Mob members. Earlier this month, a Native Mob member admitted to fatally shooting a rival gang member more than 15 years ago in a Minneapolis alley.
During his tenure, former U.S. Attorney Tom Heffelfinger actively pursued local Indian issues, including the Native Mob.
“The Native Mob was an issue of concern for tribal, federal and local law enforcement during the time I was the U.S. attorney,” he said on Friday.
Native Mob’s scope didn’t just stop in Minnesota, Heffelfinger said. There were concerns that it also stretched into Wisconsin and North Dakota, he said.
In the Phillips neighborhood, which has more than a dozen gangs operating in it last time City Council Member Gary Schiff checked, Native Mob graffiti can be found.
"Joining a gang is a sign that these kids have lost hope, that they don’t believe the American dream applies to them," Schiff said, on Friday.
Things are getting better though, he said, pointing to improvements at Little Earth and the new East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center.
The six suspected Native Mob members that were arrested Tuesday have all pleaded not guilty. In addition to the six who were arrested and the dozen who were already incarcerated, two others who weren't previously named also turned themselves in this week. They were Matthew Steven Poitra, 21, of Minneapolis, and Jason Francis Poitra, 26, of Minneapolis.
Below you'll find the 47-count indictment.