MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s been terrorizing residents of north Minneapolis neighborhoods for at least six years. Now, two prominent leaders of the self-proclaimed “Beat Down Posse” are behind bars, charged with a plethora of crimes.
Thirty-six-year-old Joseph Duane Gustafson, Jr. and 39-year-old Troy Michael Neuberger face 14 felony counts, ranging from racketeering to drug dealing and assault.
The gang’s name, BDP, refers to criminal actions the group would take on behalf of Gustafson’s father’s bail bond business. Gustafson Bail Bonds operated out of a home located at 3302 Washington Ave. N. in Minneapolis.
At a hastily called news conference, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman outlined a 20-page criminal complaint.
“We think they’ve been perpetrating crimes on the north side for years,” said Freeman.
The allegations charge Gustafson and Neuberger with running an organized crime ring for the past four years. If convicted of the more serious racketeering charges, both could face up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
“Racketeering is one of the most serious crimes we can make in the county attorney’s office,” said Freeman.
Investigators say the gang operated under the guise of Gustafson’s Bail Bonds business. After a man named Hector Fonseca failed to appear in court, Gustafson’s father was out the $12,000 bail he posted for the customer. BDP members would then go out on what they called “Hector” missions seeking to recover the money by stealing and assaulting other criminals and their associates. Often, that meant stealing narcotics, money and firearms from others who were not inclined to call police.
Stolen drugs and guns were sold from heavily fenced and guarded homes in North Minneapolis. Several of the houses were allegedly purchased using fraudulent mortgages. One of those schemes, police say, netted the Gustafson’s nearly $300,000 in illicit payouts.
According to Minneapolis Police Chief, Tim Dolan, “they’re involved in organized crime in other ways, so this is a big day for us on the north side and for the police department.”
The investigation is still ongoing, meaning that further arrests and charges are likely. So far, Joseph Gustafson, Sr. has not been charged with any crime. When asked why not, County Attorney Freeman responded by saying, “stay tuned.”
An alleged terror ring that’s evaded capture for years is suddenly much less of a threat. That pleases city council president, Barb Johnson.
“Yes, it’s been frustrating, but my neighbors will be very, very pleased to see this news conference today and here this action that’s being taken,” Johnson said.
WEB EXTRA: Read The Full Criminal Complaint (.PDF)