Raid of gang-related house nets guns, ammo stashed for planned retaliation

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Minneapolis police raid resulted in the arrest of four people affiliated with a violent street gang and the seizure of seven guns and an enormous amount of ammunition that was to be used in retaliation for the death of a gang member, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Bridget Turntine, 33, Lamont McGee, 28, Veltrez Black, 25 and Ashimiyu Alowonle, 27, all of Minneapolis made their first appearances Monday. Bail was set at $150,000, with conditions, for Olowonde and Black. McGee’s bail was set at $250,000 and Turntine, who faces lesser charges, posted bail of $6,000.

According to the criminal complaint, earlier this month police heard from a witness that the 19 Block Dip Set gang was storing illegal guns and ammunition at 3111 Girard Ave. N. where Turntine (PDF) lived. Police investigators learned that the gang was stockpiling the guns and ammunition so they could retaliate against anyone they felt was responsible for the shooting death of their leader, Tyrone Washington, at the Epic nightclub on Nov. 3.

“These arrests and charges are a direct result of some excellent police work,” Freeman said. “And it may well have saved lives. We must remain vigilant about guns in the hands of felons who have histories of gun violence.”

The complaint states that Alowonle (PDF) was the main person obtaining the guns. Minneapolis police obtained a search warrant and Thursday night conducted a high-risk entry into the house. McGee (PDF) and Black (PDF) were stopped in the dining room of the home and Alowonle was stopped while trying to flee the dining room. All three have multiple felony convictions for violent crimes and are identified members of the 19 Block Dip Set gang.

During the search, police found three loaded guns in drawers in the dining room near the three men. A fourth gun was in the pocket of a black and red jacket in a bedroom adjacent to the dining room and a witness told police Alowonle was wearing that jacket before police arrived. Police found three other guns in the basement, two of them in a diaper box below the stairwell. They also recovered an “extremely large amount of ammunition,” multiple extended firearm magazines, a large amount of cash and marijuana, the complaint states.

Also in the house were three children ranging in age from a few months to nine years old. Two of them were Turntine’s children and the other was someone she was taking care of at the time of the raid. The three men were each charged with prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

Turntine was charged with three gross misdemeanor charges of endangerment of a child. The health, safety and welfare of the children are being looked at by the appropriate agencies.