Third person sentenced for role in downtown Minneapolis phone theft ring

A third man is now serving his sentence for the role he played in a phone theft ring that operated in the downtown area of Minneapolis.

Court records show Heiron Birts, who was scheduled to have a hearing next Monday, entered a guilty plea to one count of racketeering on February 8. He was then sentenced to serve 57 months at the St. Cloud prison for the charge, which was stayed for three years.

Instead, he will serve 178 days at the Hennepin County Workhouse, followed by three years of supervised probation.

The sentence for his racketeering charge is being served at the same time as the sentence for a separate case. In that instance, Birts was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct by force or coercion, as well as fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Birts was convicted of the fifth-degree charge on March 10, and was sentenced to serve 12 months and one day for that count. He is getting 178 days credit for time previously served.

Previously, Aaron Tracey Johnson and Alfonze Stuckey were sentenced for their roles. Stuckey was sentenced in December to just shy of five years in prison for his role, while Johnson was sentenced on March 8 to serve 94 months (nearly eight years) in the St. Cloud prison. In addition, he will get 173 days of credit for time previously served.

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As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, 12 people were charged with roles in the ring. The racketeering charge carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a fine of three times the gross value gained during the operation, as well as other costs.

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In addition to stealing phones, prosecutors say the 12 suspects also moved money from the victims’ phones to people associated with the theft ring. The document also states the stolen phones were sold locally and outside of the United States. Overall, the thefts are said to have cost a total of more than $300,000.

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Antonio Green is scheduled to have a sentencing hearing in May.

David Mullins, who previously was wanted, now has an omnibus hearing scheduled for Thursday. Charlie Pryor Jr. has a plea hearing scheduled for April 18 and Su, the alleged ringleader, has a hearing scheduled for April 17 and a jury trial in June.

Five others are still wanted: Lawrence Miles, Emarion White, Sherrod Lamar, Sharlotte Green and Charlie Pryor.