MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Six Twin Cities men were charged this week in a federal indictment that accuses them of several carjackings, gun violations and gang-related violence.
In a statement Tuesday, Erica MacDonald, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, noted that this indictment is linked to the surge of carjackings and shootings the metro area experienced this past summer.
"This criminal activity will not be tolerated in our communities," she said. "Federal law enforcement, in concert with our state and local partners, is committed to holding accountable the perpetrators of this violence."
Charged in the indictment are: 19-year-old Joshoamei Richardson of St. Paul; 20-year-old James Williams, Jr., of St. Paul; 22-year-old Isaiah Alstad of Columbia Heights; 23-year-old Clifton Walker, Jr., of St. Paul; 22-year-old Jordan Shamah Rhodes of White Bear Lake; and 18-year-old Eric Ballard, Jr., of St. Paul.
All of the men are charged with one count of conspiracy to use, carry and brandish firearms in relation to a crime of violence. Five of them are charged with at least one count of aiding and abetting carjacking, three of them are charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, and one, Rhodes, is charged with illegally using drugs while in possession of a gun.
According to the indictment, the men were active in a gang called "Top 5" from last May until January. Gang members would allegedly carry out carjackings, thefts, robberies, drug sales, and attacks on other gangs, including shootings. The members would discuss their exploits and recruit new members on social media.
All six of the accused have been ordered to remain in custody pending further proceedings, the U.S. Attorney's Office says.
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