MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Prosecutors in Hennepin County say the conviction of a gang leader ends the reign of the so-called “Beat Down Posse.”

Joseph Duane Gustafson Jr. was convicted Tuesday for his role in a family bail bonds business that prosecutors say was actually a front for a criminal gang that terrorized north Minneapolis.

“The Beat Down Posse is no more,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. “The Gustafsons and their followers can no longer terrorize Minneapolis’ North Side. I couldn’t be happier.”

Two weeks ago, Gustafson’s father was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Prosecutors say the father and son ran the gang that robbed, beat and stole at their direction, going by the names “Big Joe” and “Little Joe,” respectively.

Freeman thanked prosecutors, Minneapolis police, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, and investigators with the FBI and the IRS.

According to the commerce department’s commissioner Mike Rothman, “Insurance fraud was the Achilles’ heel that helped bring down one of North Minneapolis’ most violent and notorious gangs.”

Sentencing for Gustafson Jr. has been set for April 24. Prosecutors will seek a 20-year prison sentence.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (23)
  1. Kevin says:

    Gone but not forgotten….!!!

    1. Real Talk says:

      What is it about being a gang leader that also prohibits one from displaying proper hygene? Is it against the gang rules to periodically shower and trim your hair?

      Side note: This guy appears to think very highly of himself and his “posse”. Everyone is a tough guy til they have the barrel of a .45 between their teeth. Just sayin.

    2. lil' jackactionhero's Momma says:

      aaaah shucks …. he’s a cutey. I mean a hot lookin’ man-boy. Bet he’s got wood too

    3. Tryree & TayTay says:

      He’ll be known as JoAnn in prison

  2. Mr UFC says:

    He’s just another low life punk! The entire family sounds like their losers! Someday one of these tough-guy want-to-be’s will find and attept to rob or intimidate me or one of my friends. And that would be the end of that! Good people need to stand tall and not let these types of cowards push you or anyone else around. They type of individuals lose all power when confronted with an equal or greater force then theirs.

    1. a good reaming says:

      Internet tough guy here folks. A reals loser and a true life wimp.

  3. Shrillfactor says:

    Have you noticed that drug crime has skyrocketed since Joe was arrested?

    Joe was anything but a coward, believe me.

    The BDP provided a valuable service.

    1. Real Talk says:

      Ok…so he wasnt a coward. Why such a scrub? Gang leaders cant shower properly??

      Second…no i havent noticed the drug crime skyrocket. Not really at all. Plus using violence and intimidation to keep drug dealers away is really just a horse trade….no valuable service was provided. Just trading one group of thugs for another.

    2. JeffS says:

      Whatever, dude. You’re the same idiot posting your B.S. on here when big joe was convicted.

      “Have you noticed that drug crime has skyrocketed since Joe was arrested?”

      Have you noticed the village idiots that come on here and spew shiite to support their jail bird friends? I don’t suppose you have any facts to back up your statement. The BDP is done and Mpls is well rid of them. Hopefully the dudes who got rolled by the BDP have some friends in prison. Them gustafson boys gonna need some lip balm…if ya know what i mean…

    3. Mike says:

      No I haven’t. Is there?
      How do you know that there is?
      Maybe there are just more arrests. And that would be a good thing if we are catching a greater percentage of the criminals.

  4. Bwahahahaaaa says:

    I can’t help but LOL at “Beat down posse”.

  5. BOB says:

    I think some therapy and probation should be punishment enough.
    We need more upstanding citisens like this. Wish I was one of his Jurors.

  6. Sam says:

    Does anyone else find it ironic that the same idiots on here talking about what a stand up citizen he is would be the first ones to insist on the death penalty if the guy was black and not a home grown thug. Trash is trash!

    1. Disgusted says:

      I AGREE!! Plus there would be MORE comments.

  7. Bill says:

    Mr UFC and a friend found dead of apparent gunshot wounds witnesses say they brought only their big heads to a gunfight. Authoritys are searching for another low life punk! Anyone with information on this coward is asked to contact MPD!

  8. AC says:

    What kind of respectable gang would call themselves the “Beat Down Posse”? Good Lord what is the Gang industry coming to?

  9. Liquid Nails says:

    He will have to beat his own posse now…

  10. happyolme says:

    Judging by the looks of this guy it should be more like the Boxing the Clown Posse……. ha ha ha ha



    1. Doy doy! says:

      Time for somebody to retake 6th grade english…



  12. zee the reporter says:

    Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman.needs to go!

  13. Gregory says:

    Violence isn’t against the law, so you have to hope criminals commit insurance fraud before you can do anything about them. Yeah, system needs over hauling.

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