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Federal jury finds Minneapolis gang member guilty of possessing an illegal firearm

Morning headlines from April 19, 2024
Morning headlines from April 19, 2024 01:50

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Dante Joseph Tyus, 30, of Brooklyn Center, was found guilty of possessing a firearm as a felon by a federal jury on Friday.

The verdict was delivered after a four day trial. A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled. 

On the morning of Sept. 28, 2019, Tyus was pulled over by the Minnesota State Patrol for driving erratically, said court documents. According to officers, Tyus showed clear signs of intoxication and was arrested for driving under the influence. 

Tyus' vehicle was subsequently towed and impounded. 

At the time of his arrest, Tyus was a member of the Minneapolis blood street gang. 

While in police custody, Tyus made several recorded phone calls to his girlfriend asking for her help in recovering a firearm that was hidden inside his vehicle, said a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Officers obtained a search warrant for the vehicle and recovered a 9mm semiautomatic handgun hidden inside a door panel. 

Tyus has previous felony convictions which bars him from owning firearms and ammunition under federal law. 

In Aug. 2023, U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger announced federal charges against 14 "high-ranking members of the Minneapolis Lows street gang." The alleged crimes include firearms violations and fentanyl trafficking. In addition to the Lows, those charged include members of the Highs, Bloods and 10z/20z gangs, authorities said.

"These charges present a chilling picture of the violence inflicted by the Highs, the Lows, the Bloods and other gangs on our city's streets," U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said. "Violent crime levels in Minneapolis have begun to come down and I believe our strategy is playing a role in the reduction, but we still have more work to do, and we will continue to charge violent offenders."

The 14 people charged were between the ages of 19 and 35 and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

 "Our community needs a break from the violence right now," Hennepin County Sheriff Dawanna Witt said when the federal charges were announced. "People who live in every neighborhood deserve their lives to be free from fear."

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