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6 men charged in connection to 'disturbing trend' of carjackings, shootings in Twin Cities

The men are accused of three carjackings in one day, as well as other crimes.
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Six men who prosecutors say have ties to a local gang have been charged in connection to a rash of carjackings in the Twin Cities.

U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald on Tuesday announced a federal superseding indictment in connection to the "disturbing trend of shootings and carjackings" over the summer. 

According to the criminal complaints, the six men – Joshoamel Deangelo Richardson, 19, of St. Paul; James Brock Williams, 20, of St. Paul; Isaiah Stacy Alstad, 22, of Columbia Heights; Clifton Germaine Walker, Jr., 23, of St. Paul; Jordan Sydney Shamah Rhodes, 22, of White Bear Lake; and Eric Troy Ballard, Jr., 18, of St. Paul – were active members of the gang known as "Top 5" from at least May 2020 through this January. 

Prosecutors say the purpose of the gang was to make money for its members by committing crimes such as robberies, thefts and selling drugs, with proceeds being distributed among gang members. 

According to the charges, at 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 25, 2020, Williams and Ballard, using a gun, carjacked a BMW 530i near the 1200 block of Jackson Street in St. Paul. They also assaulted the driver. 

At 6:50 a.m. the same day, Richardson, Williams, Alstad, Walker and Ballard carjacked a Dodge Charger at gunpoint from the parking lot of a restaurant near White Bear Avenue in St. Paul, charges said. 

Then at 9 a.m., Richardson, Williams, Alstad and Ballard carjacked a Subaru Outback at gunpoint near Metropolitan State University in St. Paul. 

They're also accused of illegally possessing 10 semiautomatic pistols and committing other violent acts and crimes. 

Last year, robberies in St. Paul increased by 32%, according to the Pioneer Press. In Minneapolis, robberies were up by more than 46% in 2020 compared to the previous year. 

In a statement on Facebook about the charges, St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said: 

"This case sends a strong message to anyone of any age: If you're using guns to victimize people in Saint Paul, we've got teams of people who will track you down and hold you accountable. And when we find you, the consequences are very real—around 20 years in this case.

"On the other hand, if you want to put your guns down and choose a positive path, we've got teams to help you do that, too. That's the message I want our young people to take away from this."

The six men have been ordered to remain in custody pending further court proceedings. Here are all the charges against each of them:

  • Joshoamel Deangelo Richardson, 19, of St. Paul, is charged with six crimes: one count of conspiracy to use, carry and brandish firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence; one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm; two counts of aiding and abetting carjacking; and two counts of aiding and abetting using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. 
  • James Brock Williams, 20, of St. Paul, is charged with seven charges: one count of conspiracy to use, carry and brandish firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence; three counts of aiding and abetting carjacking; and three counts of aiding and abetting using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
  • Isaiah Stacy Alstad, 22, of Columbia Heights, is charged with seven charges: one count of conspiracy to use, carry, and brandish firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence; two counts of felon in possession of a firearm; two counts of aiding and abetting carjacking; and two counts of aiding and abetting using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.
  • Clifton Germaine Walker, Jr., 23, of St. Paul, is charged with four charges: one count of conspiracy to use, carry, and brandish firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence; one count of aiding and abetting carjacking; one count of aiding and abetting using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence; and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.
  • Jordan Sydney Shamah Rhodes, 22, of White Bear Lake, is charged with four crimes: one count of conspiracy to use, carry, and brandish firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence and three counts of unlawful Controlled-Substance User in Possession of Firearms.
  • Eric Troy Ballard, Jr., 18, of St. Paul, is charged with seven crimes: one count of conspiracy to use, carry, and brandish firearms during and in relation to a crime of violence; three counts of aiding and abetting carjacking; and three counts of aiding and abetting using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

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