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Indian-gang trial begins in Minneapolis


UNDATED (WSAU)   A federal trial is scheduled to begin today in Minneapolis for three members of an Indian gang that’s known to terrorize people – including those on Wisconsin reservations. 34-year-old Wakinyon McArthur is the alleged leader of the Native Mob. McArthur, 25-year-old William Morris, and 26-year-old Anthony Cree all face numerous charges that include conspiracy to commit racketeering, and attempted murder to carry out racketeering. The case is part of a 57-count indictment with 25 defendants.

Prosecutors say the racketeering charges are a tool that’s used very rarely against gangs – and observers say it’s an indication that the government is trying to take down the entire organization. The National Gang Threat Assessment from 2011 listed the Native Mob as among the nation’s most violent Indian gangs, most active in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, and the Dakotas. Officials said it was formed in the 1990’s to set up turf for drug dealing.

McArthur’s lawyer, Frederick Goetz, said there was never any racketeering. He said the accusations involve individual, sporadic acts by youngsters who’ve had a tough time on reservations.