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Task force honored for Native Mob work

BEMIDJI - The Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force has been honored for its work on the Native Mob gang bust earlier this year.

The task force received the 2012 Minnesota State Association of Narcotic Investigators (MSANI) Task Force of the Year Award during a meeting last week.

The FBI-funded Headwaters Safe Trails Task Force (HSTTF) was recognized for their work on a significant Federal Racketeering Influenced Organized Crime (RICO) case involving members of the Native Mob living in northern Minnesota.

In January, a federal indictment charged 26 alleged members of the Native Mob gang with various crimes, including conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity, attempted murder, distributing illegal drugs, witness intimidation, and illegally possessing firearms.

A news release issued by the Beltrami County Sheriff 's Office said 21 suspects have pleaded guilty for conspiring over a period of years to conduct criminal activity to preserve, protect, promote, and enhance the gang's power, territory, and financial gains.

Task Force members are sheriff 's employees from Beltrami, Hubbard and Mahnomen counties, police officers from Bemidji, Park Rapids, Leech Lake and White Earth Tribal departments, and officers from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, FBI and U.S. Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.