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Bizarre Crime & Upward Trend In Bemidji Gang Activity - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Bizarre Crime & Upward Trend In Bemidji Gang Activity

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    It's a bizarre crime that may signal a rise in gang activity.  Last year, dozens of members of a gang called the "Native Mob" were charged in a major sting operation at Bemidji, and on the 3 reservations surrounding it.

  It happened during a beer drinking session at this Bemidji trailer on October 10.

  Mark Cree of Cass Lake is convicted of striking another man with a coffee mug, and then using the broken handle of the mug to stab the man in the leg.

  It's a bit of a strange case, but what raised some red flags is the fact the men claimed to be part of a gang called the "Gangster Disciples"… now that follows the major bust last year of a gang called the "Native Mob".  Dozens of gang members from Bemidji and the surrounding reservations of Red Lake, Cass Lake and White Earth were charged and convicted in that case.

Mike Mastin, Bemidji Police Chief: "Since the indictments from the Native Mob trial, we've seen a marked decrease in organized gang activity. There still is your rogue type, gang affiliated or people claiming to be members of particular gangs."

  And Mastin says the good part in all this is that any violence is usually between gang members and doesn't affect anyone else.

  However, Sheriff Phil Hodapp says, while that bust of the Native Mob gang took out its leadership, it's already starting to reappear.

Phil Hodapp, Sheriff Beltrami County: "It took out the leadership of the Native Mob in the State of Minnesota. So, that has reduced the amount of gang crime that we're seeing here in the region, although it's starting to pickup again."

  And unfortunately, Hodapp says it will likely be an ongoing battle against gangs, despite handing them a major hit, just last year.

   Mark Cree, the self-proclaimed gang member in that coffee mug stabbing was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

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