MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Six individuals indicted for alleged connections with organized crime have pleaded not guilty to charges filed against them.

The indictment from the U.S. Department of Justice alleged an extensive crime ring connected with roughly 200 people. The justice department says the “Native Mob” has also recruited members from communities with young Native American men.

Earlier this week, raids were made on White Earth, Mille Lacs, and Leech Lake Indian reservations, as well as in the Twin Cities. In addition to the six men named in the indictment, 12 others were taken in custody and officers said they were still seeking six others.

Two of the six men named in the indictment — Aaron James Gilbert Jr., 24, Minneapolis; and Justen Lee Poitra, 26, of Cass Lake — were released on bail on Thursday.

Three others — Dale Wesley Ballinger Jr., 20, of Isle; Cory Gene Oquist, 22, of Bemidji; Dale John Pindegayosh, 29, of Cass Lake — were ordered to remain in custody by the court.

Damien Lee Beaulieu, 20, of Onamia, was scheduled for a detention hearing Friday morning.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota announced a seventh defendant — 21-year-old Matthew Steven Poitra of Minneapolis — turned himself in and will appear in federal court Friday to face conspiracy and firearms charges.

In addition, Jason Francis Poitra, 26, turned himself in Friday morning and will be making his initial court appearance at 2:00 p.m. before a judge in St. Paul.  Irah Lee Goodwin, 25, who was previously in federal custody on related charges, will also appear before that same judge.

According to the justice department, the “Native Mob” gang has been in operation since the mid-1990s.

Dozens of state sheriff’s departments and police departments aided in the investigation, along with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies.

Comments (18)
  1. Bill Clintons Cigar says:

    Keep locking them up. Gangs run our neighborhoods now! They must be stopped! Keep locking them up! Great job!

  2. Rob says:

    come to Alexandria minnesota, you will find an adult organized crime gang that has been covertly terrorizing this, and surrounding communities. They have been underground for years, and have law enforcement connections.

  3. Lonnie Jensen says:

    Are you being serious, really in Alexandria, Minnesota ??? What kind of gang is in Alexandria ???

  4. realtalknative says:

    I hope that this is eye opener for all native youth that want to join gangs please come back to our spiritial/Traditional circle this is what is going to make you stand out in your community and give you pride and belonging

    1. Kevin says:

      Well said…..well said….

    2. billie says:

      I ABSOLUTELY agree! (And stay in school)

  5. Mike says:

    Itneresting that the piece has no specific crimes mentioned.

    1. ReportWholeStory says:

      I want to know the same thing..Makes me think if they are being investigated simply because they are minority and participated in a “gang” or what!! it makes no sense to report half A*Ss stories like this with no crime mentioned. Thanks CBS for causing a Native MOb scare….next time make it more relevant maybe it would be useful.

  6. kevin says:

    aynt kevun a shatbag?

  7. Billie says:

    I grew up just outside cass lake .. I HATE that town… absolute trash! (Which is sad, because the lakes and forests are spectacular)

    1. Jacque says:

      I live and work in Cass Lake, our community is no different than any other there is good and bad in every community to label us as trash is offensive to me and to the good people who live here and have a vested interest in our community. Who are you to decide who and what is trash? Maybe you should have a look in the mirror before you start judging others!!!!!!

  8. j speedbag 64 says:

    outside cass lake is no different trash is trash……

  9. mpls says:

    im afraid for these brothers they gonna do to them what they did to lenard so no matter the lack of evadence they all gonna go to jail they all gonna be found guilty

  10. TractStar33 says:

    thats the exact truth..they have no evidence,or nothing..who is to say that there even a gang?.just because there native men sticking together?.i mean look at the feds,cops,courts,etc.,if anything,there the gang and theyve been the ones trying to get rid of all of us native americans since they first stepped foot on our land.&thats exactly what there trying to do now-is get rid of us anyway they can.i mean look at the mexican mafia,theyve been living,organizing&running minneapolis for over 20years&there still here.look at all those white guy motor cycle gangs,there nation wide&u dont see the fed chasing them as they ride from state to state..this is sad,also racism.i dont understand why we get treated like this,when we welcomed all those white ppl on to our homeland&saved there stupid starving a**s on thanksgiving.this is wrong.really wrong.&i dont care what anybody thinks,its the truth,the truth that isnt written in the lies of the so called history books.the government does us wrong EVERY CHANCE THEY GET..

  11. TractStar33 says:

    they put us on reservations 2die,old honest abe sent blankets full of diseases to our children&elders,they constantly fighting to take our land,theyve broken treaties,they send us to these free hospitals tht shouldnt even be open..our hospital is full of fake practicing doctors who are always misdiagnosing us,&cant be sued.which wud be illegal everywhere except the reservations,we should be the ppl running this country.the white ppl are ruining everything they can.i feel disrespect from them by locking up these young men.we all know there only picking on them bcuz the boys are native americans.thts called RACISM-were not stupid,instead of seeing eye to eye theyd rather get rid of us any way possible..i feel so offended that the government is doing this.its just wrong,i hope every white person who took part in locking these natives up,Burns in hell 4eternity

  12. tractstarswifeyy says:

    i ive in cass lake also i bet billie is a white man because i dont know any indian thats name is billi … so take that shytt to walker or bemdji…

  13. TractStar33 says:

    This is also a conflict of interest.

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