Minneapolis gang member sentenced in attempted murder

A Minneapolis gang member was sentenced to nearly 20 years behind bars in federal prison in an attempted murder case.

Montez Brown, who goes by "Tez Blood", pled guilty to the attempted murder charge along with narcotics trafficking, and possession of a machine gun.

Prosecutors say Brown was a "high-level fentanyl trafficker" for the Highs gang. The Highs gang operates primarily on the northside of Minneapolis, near West Broadway Avenue and Lyndale Avenue North – historically, a crime hotspot.

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"The Highs have a stranglehold on this area and members do not hesitate to flaunt their illegal activities openly," prosecutors wrote in a news release. "Prospective Highs members prove their loyalty to the gang by ‘putting in work,’ i.e., committing acts of violence for the benefit of the gang or offering other benefits such as introducing a source for drugs or firearms.  Members of the Highs are expected to "hunt" rival gang members: an express directive to locate and kill rivals. Highs members frequently take to social media to taunt rivals, glorify gang life, and post images of themselves with cash, drugs, and firearms."

Authorities say Brown is the 13th gang member to plead guilty after busts last year in Minneapolis.

"We are addressing gang violence for what it is: organized criminal activity," U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger said in a provided statement. "Minneapolis gangs have caused a staggering amount of damage to the community through retaliatory shootings, narcotics trafficking, and other illicit activity. Individuals who choose to fuel violence and destruction on behalf of a criminal enterprise such as this will be held accountable under federal law."