Carjacking convictions send ‘Top 5’ gang members to prison
Five men were sent to prison for their involvement in multiple armed carjackings, according to a news release from the Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Court documents show that the men maintained active membership in a street gang called “Top 5.” The gang participated in criminal acts such as thefts, robberies and the sale of narcotics. They also used firearms to carry out acts of violence such as shootings and assaults.
Many of their activities were discussed through social media, where members displayed cash, guns and drugs. Top 5 members also used social media to recruit new members, according to the news release.
The defendants’ convictions and sentences are as follows:
- Isaiah Alstad, 23, pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting carjacking and was sentenced to 110 months in prison.
- James Williams Jr., 21, was sentenced to 56 months in prison for conspiring to use, carry and brandish firearms during and in relation to armed carjackings.
- Clifton Walker Jr., 25, was sentenced to 110 months months in prison for conspiring to use, carry and brandish firearms during and in relation to armed carjackings.
- Jordan Rhodes, 23, was sentenced to 72 months after being convicted of being a controlled substance user in possession of a firearm
- Joshoamei Richardson, 21, was sentenced to 84 months for conspiring to use, carry and brandish firearms during and in relation to armed carjacking.
Eric Ballard Jr., 20, remains in custody pending further legal proceedings. He’s charged with three counts of aiding and abetting carjacking and four counts of conspiring to use, carry and brandish firearms.
The news releases states that on Aug. 25, 2020, a victim reported being carjacked at gunpoint and pistol-whipped near the 1200 block of Jackson Street in St. Paul. Later that day at about 6:50 a.m., a second victim said they were carjacked at gunpoint in the the parking lot of a restaurant near White Bear Avenue in St. Paul. Then a third victim reported a carjacking at gunpoint at about 9 a.m. on Maria Avenue near Metropolitan State University.
All six people were charged for their involvement in these incidents, according to the Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office.