Mpls police arrest admitted gang member with three ‘assault rifles’

So far this year, Minneapolis police officers have recovered more than 600 firearms in the city. Here are a couple of examples of where some of these guns were found.

According to charges filed recently in Hennepin County District Court, on Dec. 19, Minneapolis police officers searched a north Minneapolis home and found three “SKS 7.62 x .39mm assault rifles and a Luger .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun.” The man they arrested, 44-year-old Craig Alan Bell, “admitted to officers that he is a Black P Stones [sic] gang member.” Bell was charged with four counts of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

And in other gun news: The Hennepin County Attorney recently charged 21-year-old Gerald Cepeda with “dangerous weapons on school property,” which is a felony. According to the charges, Cepeda and an unnamed woman walked into Jenny Lind School on Dec. 19 and were in there for 15 minutes. However, the woman says she didn’t know Cepeda was carrying a gun. The charges don’t say if anyone in the school knew about the gun. Cepeda and the woman were stopped by police after they left the school while the officers were responding to a suspicious person call. Police say Cepeda “started grabbing at his waistline of his pant, pulling it up and to the side.” The officer “unholstered his weapon” and ordered Cepeda to place his hands on the squad car. Police say they found a handgun in his right pants pocket.

  • John

    As these are pulled directly from the language of the criminal complaint, which prosecutors have leeway to fluff up and use descriptive language, one must take it with a grain of salt. Besides the typos and mis-identification of the weapons, the “evil assault rifles” referred to herein are actually what will become commonplace if 30-round AR-15-style rifles are “banned.”

    The SKS is an old Soviet weapon from the 1950s that’s been imported in bulk into the U.S. from former Soviet bloc countries and China and is now most popular among backwoods deer hunters. The standard configuration has a fixed 10-round magazine, exactly what the “assault rifle ban” crowd wants to see imposed. It can be re-tooled and modified to accept larger magazines, but the results are often sketchy and unreliable. More importantly, the work is likely beyond the gunsmithing skills of your average gangbanger in his basement.

    The .22 “Luger” is a typo, and what the prosecutor most likely was trying to identify was a .22 Ruger pistol, one of the most common target pistols and tin-can plinkers on the market.

    When I was a prosecutor, I too was guilty of always referring to any recovered semiautomatic as an “assault rifle” in a complaint because I knew the effect the term has on the uninformed, and some judges would react much more viscerally to it than just “rifle.”

    In this “story,” we have a criminal caught with three wooden-stock hunting rifles and a target pistol in his house. I do appreciate the creative headline-wrangling that leads that to “gang member with three assault rifles,” though.

  • Dave

    a SKS will take the after market 20 round magazines,TAPCO brand for 17.99 and shoot 7.62×39 ammo. bulk 500 rounds for 119.9.it will fire those as fast as you can pull the trigger.sealed cans with ammo in clips is harder to find these days……..

  • John P II

    Luger commonly refers to a style of pistol that has been made in several calibers over the years. Stoeger has owned the rights to the actual name for a long time and did make a model in .22 caliber.

    There is not a single, precise definition of assault rifle, but the term generally refers to semi-automatic rifles of a modern military origin. That’s probably why the term appears in quotes in the headline.

    The real issues here are that people who are legally prohibited from possessing firearms seem to have no problem acquiring multiple guns, and that people can walk into elementary schools while carrying a gun. But we already know that, don’t we?

  • Jim

    The SKS is not, and never has been, an “assault rifle”.