- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - A federal grand jury has indicted seven alleged members of two gangs on charges that they conspired to distribute crack cocaine in Minnesota and North Dakota, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The defendants include leaders and members of the Taliban and Young N Thuggin gangs, the U.S. attorney’s office said. And it said the charges follow the indictment late last year on gun charges of more than a dozen alleged members of the two gangs’ main rivals, the 1-9-Dipset and Stick Up Boys.

“Leaders and members of the Taliban and YNT are charged with using violence and intimidation to control a drug distribution operation stretching from Minneapolis to Fargo,”

Andy Luger, the U.S. attorney for Minnesota, said in the announcement that the leaders and members of the gangs have been charged with “using violence and intimidation to control a drug distribution operation stretching from Minneapolis to Fargo,” North Dakota.

According to the indictment unsealed Wednesday and other court documents, Taliban and YNT members frequently travel to St. Cloud, Duluth and Fargo to sell crack cocaine. Drugs that the gangs could sell in Minneapolis for $20 could fetch $50 in Greater Minnesota and in North Dakota.

Dealers would sell drugs from apartments around St. Cloud, which were usually rented out by someone addicted to crack in exchange for a fix, the documents said. After they had exhausted their supply, the dealers would return to the Cities for a “reup,” authorities said.

Six of the seven defendants were in custody.

The long-running turf war among the four gangs resulted in at least six killings and numerous shootings in recent years, following the high-profile killing of a high-ranking 1-9 gang member in Minneapolis in 2013.

“Today we see the results of a long-term investigation into a violent street gang that has plagued the streets of Minneapolis for too long,” Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau said in the same statement.

The indictment stemmed from an investigation by the Safe Streets Task Force, comprised of federal and local law enforcement agencies.

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