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Defendant, more charges are added in alleged gang killing

  • Article by: DAN BROWNING
  • Star Tribune
  • July 24, 2012 - 8:41 PM

The tribute to Jeremee Jon Kraskey on YouTube depicts the late machinist as a beloved family member with an infectious smile.

But interspersed in the slide show are photos of Kraskey looking tough, wearing the red and black colors of the Native Mob, as 2Pac's rap song "Picture Me Rollin'" thumps along in the background.

"They got me under surveillance, that's what somebody be tellin

Know there's dope bein sold, but I ain't the one sellin!

Don't want to be another number..."

Kraskey, 32, of Onigum, Minn., died in a hail of gunfire in a south Minneapolis alley on Feb. 26, 2011.

Now, a federal grand jury has charged suspected Native Mob member Shawn Michael Martinez with his murder.

The U.S. attorney's office said on Tuesday that Martinez, aided by others, shot and killed Kraskey to keep him from telling law enforcement about the American Indian gang's criminal activities and in retaliation for "the mistaken belief" that he had already done so.

The Native Mob, which has about 200 members, originated in Minneapolis in the early 1990s. Federal authorities say the highly organized group engages in drug trafficking, assault, robbery and murder. In January, a federal grand jury in Minneapolis indicted two dozen suspected members of the Native Mob with a variety of racketeering and drug charges; 18 have pleaded guilty.

An updated indictment handed up Thursday added one defendant and several additional counts against the remaining defendants.

Martinez, also known as Tinez, now faces an additional gun charge, plus murder in the aid of racketeering, murdering a federal witness and witness tampering by murder.

The new indictment also charges codefendants Wakinyon Wakan McArthur and Christopher Lee Wuori with participating in an attempted murder on March 4, 2010. Federal prosecutors said in a prepared statement that the men "tried to kill a man by shooting him three times with a .40-caliber handgun while he held his 5-year-old daughter." (Two other men, Anthony Francis Cree and William Earl Morris, also were charged in that shooting in the previous indictment.)

The indictment added charges against McArthur and Wuori related to a 2010 shooting of a rival drug dealer's home and a 2011 home invasion and robbery of a rival drug dealer.

The new defendant, Jesus Thomas Ali, faces racketeering conspiracy, weapons and drug charges.

If convicted, the defendants face prison terms ranging from 20 years to life. Andrew Birell, who represents Martinez, wrote a letter to U.S. District Judge John Tunheim last week seeking to push the trial into next year, citing its complexity and the gravity of the charges in the superseding indictment. He said the attorneys for the other defendants joined in his request, and that the government didn't object. Tunheim has not yet ruled on the request, but they are generally granted under such circumstances.

Dan Browning • 612-673-4493

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