Seven members of two south Minneapolis gangs accused of carrying out a bloody gang war have been charged with drug trafficking and illegal gun possession in a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday.
Two of them were charged in connection with the brazen midday gunfight outside Hennepin County Medical Center last August.
The accused are alleged to be active members of two street gangs known as the 10z and the 20z, which operate closely together in south Minneapolis, officials said.
“Their primary purpose was to make money for the gang members through the sale of illegal drugs, including crack cocaine, heroin and marijuana,” the U.S. attorney’s office said.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said it now makes six violent street gangs that his office had indicted since 2014.
“We are targeting the leaders as well as the operators of all of the gangs,” Luger said Tuesday. “This does not put an end to the gang war, nor does it bring an end to the 10z. But it is a significant step.”
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman called the defendants “extremely dangerous men,” and said his office is prosecuting some of them, “such as Percy Lacey, who took part in a wild shootout by the medical center last summer.”
Freeman said in a statement that a coordinated state-federal prosecution to break up gangs will be “a big help in our mutual goal of reducing gun violence in Minneapolis.”
The 10z and the 20z were allegedly involved in a gang war with their primary rivals, the Bloods and the Bogus Boys, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement. “The gang war was very violent and resulted in shootings of gang members on both sides, some of which caused the death of gang members. Virtually all of these shootings were the products of disputes over territory, robberies of rival drug dealers, or retaliatory violence.”
Besides Lacey, 22, known as “P3,” of Richfield, the six other defendants are: Daniel Alfred “Funk” Adams, 29, of Minneapolis; Andrew Indelicato “Boo Boo” Peterson, 25, of St. Louis Park; Anthony “Two Tone” Doss, 24, of Brooklyn Park; Thomas Dupree “Trigga” Bennett, 27, of Minneapolis; Paul “Man Man” Antonio Early, 23, of Minneapolis; and Clarence James “Sneaky” Dickens Jr., 24, of Roseville. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Calhoun-Lopez is the prosecutor.
The indictment and documents filed in court allege the seven men were involved in at least five shootings in Minneapolis between Aug. 19 and Sept. 23, 2014:
• On Aug. 19, Lacey and other members of the 10z and 20z allegedly shot and wounded members of the Bloods near the corner of 37th Street and Chicago Avenue S.
• On Aug. 21, Dickens Jr. was allegedly involved in a drive-by shooting targeting a member of the Bloods outside of a McDonald’s restaurant at Lake Street and 2nd Avenue S.
• Peterson and Lacey allegedly joined with other members of the 10z and 20z, to attack members of the Bloods who were at HCMC visiting a member who had been injured in a drive-by shooting earlier in the day. Peterson allegedly stood outside the hospital and attempted to draw Blood members outside. Outside the hospital, Lacey Jr. allegedly fired multiple shots at the Bloods from across the street.
• On Sept. 23, Doss, carrying a Masterpiece 9mm allegedly used in the Aug. 19 shooting, was among other members of the 10z who were shot and wounded outside of a Moto Mart gas station at 3301 Hiawatha Av.
The principal charge against all seven men is conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, but all seven are also charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Several are also charged with illegal possession of firearms or ammunition
Two of the seven already face state criminal charges in Hennepin County, including Lacey, who is in jail awaiting trial for second-degree attempted murder, and Doss, who faces two charges for possession of assault weapons from 2014 and this year.
Because the defendants are charged in both federal and state court, “We are talking with the U.S. attorney’s office on strategy,” said Chuck Laszewski, a spokesman with the Hennepin County attorney’s office.
One defendant, Dickens, was convicted and sentenced in December to 10 years in prison for second-degree murder in the McDonald’s shooting.
Minneapolis Chief Janeé Harteau said Tuesday that the city has seen an increase in violence attributed to gang members.
“This is about disrespect. This is about social media,” she said. “Frankly, these are people resolving their disputes with guns.”
Harteau expects the indictments to make a dent in some of the city’s gang activity, but it may take several days to determine the extent of that effect.
Ferome Brown, program director of Project Minnesota, which works with young people to end gun violence, was unfamiliar with the latest charges, but worries that as gang leaders are being indicted, younger gang members are being groomed to replace them.
Joining in the investigation that led to Tuesday’s charges were the Minneapolis Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives.
“We are making headway in taking the down the gangs and the gang leaderships,” Luger said Tuesday, “but we have a long way to go.”