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Twin Ports crime spree, standoff suspect indicted on federal charges

The crime spree that has already resulted in 26 charges in Minnesota and Wisconsin state courts now has Cody Walker-Nelson facing significant federal prison time.

Standoff file
Special force officers have guns drawn outside of an apartment building during a more than six-hour standoff in West Duluth on Friday evening, Oct. 1, 2021. Jed Carlson / File / Superior Telegram
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DULUTH — A man who allegedly stole multiple guns and vehicles, attempted to rob a Superior bank and barricaded himself inside a West Duluth apartment building for several hours in October has been indicted by a federal grand jury.

Cody Lee Walker-Nelson, 30, is charged with attempted bank robbery, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and being a felon in possession of firearms. The indictment was handed down Wednesday, Nov. 17, by a federal grand jury in Madison, Wisconsin, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Wisconsin.

Walker-Nelson already was facing 26 charges, including 24 felonies, in state courts in Minnesota and Wisconsin following the alleged Oct. 1 crime spree.

100321.N.DNT.Name
Cody Lee Walker-Nelson

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Court documents allege that he broke into a Superior home on Karky Road and stole 12 firearms before driving to Duluth and stealing a Chevrolet Tahoe, which he later drove into a garage in Gary-New Duluth.

When a police officer attempted to stop him, Walker-Nelson allegedly crashed into a van transporting two vulnerable adults before speeding off to a gas station and stealing a Ford Escape. He is then suspected of driving to Superior and attempting to rob Associated Bank.

Court documents allege that Walker-Nelson then drove to West Duluth and pointed a firearm at a woman, shooting a round into the sky, before driving to Piedmont and trying to steal another vehicle. He was located on Haines Road, pursued by authorities at up to 100 mph, before hitting another vehicle on Mesaba Avenue.

After authorities aborted the chase due to safety concerns, Walker-Nelson reportedly made his way to a Spirit Valley apartment building, 601 N. Central Ave., and barricaded himself inside.

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Gary Meader / Duluth News Tribune

Walker-Nelson allegedly shot four times through the apartment window at a drone operated by officers. He shot another time through the apartment wall and into the adjoining apartment and tossed three firearms, also linked to the Superior burglary, out the window, court documents said.

He was taken into custody after approximately six hours, with police saying they recovered hundreds of rounds of ammunition, two swords, a handgun and a rifle.

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The new federal charges have Walker-Nelson facing up to 20 years for the attempted bank robbery and 10 years for the firearm possession charge, if convicted. The brandishing charge carries a mandatory minimum of seven years in prison, with federal law requiring that it be imposed consecutively with any other penalty imposed.

The federal charges stem from an investigation conducted by the Duluth and Superior police departments, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or tolsen@duluthnews.com.
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