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Suspect sentenced for drive-by shooting

The main suspect in a November drive-by shooting has been sentenced.

Jesus Thomas Ali, 21, of St. Paul, was sentenced Tuesday for his role in a Nov. 30 drive-by shooting at an occupied residence on the 19800 block of Plantation Road Southeast.

Ali was convicted and sentenced for two felony charges stemming from the November incident.

He was sentenced to 72 months in prison for a felony dangerous weapon charge of gang-related drive-by shooting toward a person, an occupied motor vehicle or an occupied building; and sentenced to 60 months in prison for being an ineligible person in possession of a firearm, which is also a felony. He pleaded guilty to both charges on March 19.

A felony weapons charge of drive-by shooting toward a person, an occupied motor vehicle or an occupied building was dismissed. This charge is lesser than the gang-related drive-by charge.

For both convictions, Ali was given credit for 151 days already served. He must pay a $50 and submit a DNA sample. Restitution was reserved.

Six or seven shots were reported fired at 1:55 a.m. Nov. 30 at a residence on the 19800 block of Plantation Road Southeast. No one was injured despite the presence in the home of three adults and an 11-month-old child.

According to the criminal complaint:

Witnesses reported that a red or maroon-colored Dodge Dynasty pulled in front the residence and a man wearing a black leather jacket exited the rear passenger door of the vehicle, fired six or seven shots at the house and then got back into the vehicle and left the scene.

Investigators found seven millimeter casings and observed where the bullets had struck the ground and the side of the residence.

About 30 minutes later, Beltrami County deputies located a 1992 maroon Dodge Dynasty on the 19700 block of Williams Road Southeast. They observed that the vehicle had recently been driven and there were three sets of footprints leaving the vehicle.

The owner of the residence let deputies into the house, claiming not to know to whom the vehicle belonged but gestured toward the basement.

Downstairs, deputies located Ali, a leather jacket, a ski mask and a pair of gloves, the complaint said. Two other suspects were located, including a 15-year-old boy.

The boy told deputies that he was asked earlier that day if Ali and the other suspect could use his vehicle. The boy said they had a "beef" with someone who lives at the residence.

Ali was wearing a ski mask and gloves when they approached the residence, and Ali took out the gun and fired several rounds at the home, the boy reported. Ali later tossed the gun into the woods.

Deputies followed the footprints in the snow and recovered the 9 millimeter pistol, wrapped in a ski mask, between 8 and 10 feet into the woods.

Ali, a confirmed criminal gang member, has numerous felony conviction and adjudication for weapons and drug offenses, the complaint said.