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5 south Minneapolis men sentenced to prison in connection with violent drug trafficking

5 south Minneapolis men sentenced to prison in connection with violent drug trafficking Photo: KSTP

Updated: February 21, 2020 03:20 PM

The United States Attorney's Office said on Friday that five south Minneapolis men, who were gang-affiliated, have been sentenced to prison for their part in a violent drug trafficking conspiracy. 

The five individuals are identified as Alkwan Kwame Lawson-Holiday, 30, Le'Keith Ali Du'Juan Rayford, 28, Kenneth LaMont Thompson, 34, Maurice Jerry Johnson, 29 and Lenardo Alexzander Woodard, 32. They were all convicted and sentenced for crimes related to violent gang activity, including trafficking crack cocaine and illegal possession of firearms. 

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"Violent groups who use guns to carry out their drug trafficking operations bring death and destruction to our communities. This type of criminal activity is unacceptable and will not be tolerated," United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald said in a statement. "All five of these individuals have faced justice and must account for the serious crimes they have committed." 

According to documents filed in court, all five men admitted to being active in or association with the 10z/20z south Minneapolis street gangs, with the purpose of making money for the gang through criminal acts, including distribution of crack cocaine, heroin and marijuana. As part of their drug distribution schemes, members of the gangs possessed, carried and used firearms in order to protect their drug distribution network from rival gangs, and to protect drug distributors from being robbed of narcotics or money, according to a news release. 

A breakdown of the charges can be seen below:

  • Alkwan Kwame Lawson-Holiday, 30, from Brooklyn Park
    • Convicted of distributing a controlled substance
    • Sentenced to 57 months in prison, three years of supervised release
  • Le'Keith Ali Du'Juan Rayford, 28, from Minneapolis
    • Convicted of conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
    • Sentenced to 78 months in prison, three years of supervised release
  • Kenneth LaMont Thompson, 34, from Minneapolis
    • Convicted of conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
    • Sentenced to 100 months in prison, three years of supervised release
  • Maurice Jerry Johnson, 29, from Minneapolis
    • Convicted of use of a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime
    • Sentenced to 60 months in prison, three years of supervised release
  • Lenardo Alexzander Woodard, 32, from Brooklyn Park
    • Convicted of conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
    • Sentenced to 51 months in prison, three years of supervised release

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