First person pleads guilty in feds’ crackdown on street gangs

One of the nearly five dozen people charged in an effort to crack down on violent street gangs in Minneapolis has taken a plea deal, making him the first person to plead guilty in the case.

Court records show that 25-year-old Chase Robertson, from St. Paul, agreed to a plea deal in which he’ll plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to engage in racketeer influenced corrupt organization (RICO).

He was one of 45 people charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office back in May in what was the first time the office filed RICO charges against Minneapolis street gangs. Authorities charged 14 additional gang members last month.

Court documents state that Robertson is a member of the Highs gang, which primarily operates in north Minneapolis, and previously attended the funerals of gang members with other suspected gang members. The agreement also states that he previously had drugs and firearms, sold drugs and is aware of other gang members selling drugs.

He faces up to life in prison. A sentencing date hasn’t yet been set.