2 plead guilty to racketeering, related charges

The man accused of selling stolen phone to buyers overseas entered a petition to plead guilty Monday after another suspect charged in the cellphone theft enterprise pleaded guilty to racketeering charges last week.

Zhongshuang Su, 33, also known as Brandon Su and nicknamed “the iPhone man,” changed his plea Monday morning.

Su is accused of shipping the stolen phones to buyers in Hong Kong and also bailing other suspects in the scheme out of jail.

He was charged with racketeering but took a plea deal to instead plead guilty to four stolen property charges.

Court documents show David Mullins Jr. admitted to being involved in the scheme from January to February 2022.

Mullins and Su are now both set to be sentenced on the morning of Nov. 9.

RELATED: 12 charged following investigation into cellphone theft, fraud operation in Minneapolis

The criminal complaint details a network of thieves who coordinated to steal or violently rob people’s phones in downtown Minneapolis, usually while the victims were intoxicated.

Investigators say surveillance footage shows multiple methods employed by the group to steal phones. One involves the suspects approaching a victim “in a friendly manner” and asking to use the victim’s phone. Under the guise of adding themselves to social media, the suspect makes sure the victim unlocks the phone, and another distracts them while the phone is handed off to another person. This scheme often involves another person standing by in case a fight breaks out, according to charging documents.

The total number of thefts is said to have cost a total of more than $300,000.

The losses include the value of the phones and cryptocurrencies, along with cash and attempted cash transactions committed after the phones were taken and used to access victim funds through services such as Venmo, Zelle and Coinbase.

Authorities state more than four dozen phones were sent to Hong Kong and more than two dozen other phones were sent to Su’s employer.

Others charged in the case are identified as:

  • 18-year-old Charlie Pryor Jr. of St. Paul, set for court appearance on Sept. 25;
  • 41-year-old Charlie Pryor Sr. of St. Paul, charged via warrant;
  • 25-year-old Aaron Johnson of St. Paul, sentenced to just under eight years in prison;
  • 21-year-old Sharlotte Green of St. Paul, charged via warrant;
  • 23-year-old Alfonze Stuckey of St. Paul, sentenced to just under five years in prison;
  • 23-year-old Sherrod Lamar of St. Paul, set for court on Oct. 17;
  • 19-year-old Antonio Green of St. Paul, sentenced to one year of work release and three years probation;
  • 18-year-old Emarion White of St. Paul, set for court on Sept. 21;
  • 26-year-old Heiron Birts of Minneapolis, sentenced to three years probation, stayed sentence of 57 months;
  • 22-year-old Lawrence Miles of Bloomington, charged via warrant;

Those convicted face up to 20 years in prison, fines of three times the gross value of what was stolen and other costs.