The detail: Criminal complaints outline charges filed against alleged gang members

Cornelius Larkin

Charles Perry

Justyn Sanders

Deante Hollis-McKee

Patrick Larkin
news editor

The criminal complaints filed recently by the Ramsey County attorney’s office detailed the events leading up to the recent gang busts in St. Paul.

Cornelius Larkin, Julie Branch, Arnold Scott, Marcel West, Donte Branch, Justyn Sanders

Cornelius Larkin, 25, faces charges of planning to sell codeine for the benefit of a gang.

The complaint alleges surveillance monitors used by law enforcement overheard Larkin discussing the prospect of obtaining, using and selling the substance in July of 2013.

Officers said they determined that Larkin would be receiving bottles of the substance via U.S. mail from Peoria, Ariz., and moved to intervene. They reportedly discovered that Julie Branch, 36, with a Battle Creek neighborhood address in addition to an Arizona address, would be receiving a package containing the drug, and selling it to Larkin.

Officers traced the package and seized it, executing a warrant. They found that it contained two bottles of codeine.

The complaint said phone conversations revealed that Branch would sell 8-ounce bottles of the substance for $200 to $250. The bottles’ contents would then be diluted by mixing the codeine with roughly an equal amount of corn syrup. The 8-ounce bottles of the diluted substance were then sold for $350, or $50 for a 1-ounce capful.

An informant reportedly told officers that codeine is a popular street drug because a dealer can turn a strong profit compared to other narcotics. In addition, the informant told officers that law enforcement “does not seem to care about enforcing codeine possession or sales.”

Several co-conspirators were also identified as being codeine distributors, including Arnold Scott, 20, of St. Paul; Marcel West, 20, of Oakdale; Donte Branch, 26, of Peoria, Ariz.; and Justyn Sanders, 22, of Maplewood.

Larkin, Perry, West, and Sanders are confirmed gang members, and specifically are identified as members of the East Side Boyz, according to the complaint.

Deante Hollis-McKee and Denzel Jenkins

Deante Hollis-McKee, 21, of St. Paul, is charged with first-degree aggravated robbery for the benefit of a gang.

In the early hours of July 9, 2013, police reported going to a house on the 600 block of Magnolia Avenue in response to a call that a man was shot.

Upon arrival, an officer found a man slumped against a door with a gunshot wound in his stomach. The man was bleeding from the wound and reportedly told the officer “I’m shot; I’m gonna die.” The 31-year-old victim was taken to Regions Hospital where he underwent surgery.

The man was interviewed at the hospital and told police he didn’t know who’d shot him, but he believed it was a “vice lord” or a member of the East Side Boyz, with whom he’d been playing dice.

The 31-year-old said he had accused his attacker, identified as Denzel J’Mal Jenkins, 22, of St. Paul, of cheating. The 31-year-old demanded his money back, he told officers.

The criminal complaint said Jenkins, referred to as “Lil Lord” left the house and returned with a handgun and couple of buddies, including Hollis-McKee.

After kicking in the victim’s locked door, there was a struggle, and the 31-year-old reportedly was shot by Jenkins. The three men then went through the victim’s pockets, taking $1,500. 

Jenkins was arrested July 9 and charged with first-degree assault, aggravated robbery, and illegal possession of a gun.

Hollis-McKee was arrested on July 31 on probable cause for his involvement in the robbery. He admitted to assisting Jenkins in the robbery, and holding a gun for him.

A handgun was found during a search of Hollis-McKee’s house, after which he allegedly told police that Jenkins would have younger gang members hold guns for him.

He said he kept the $1,500 and used it to buy clothes and items for his baby.

Charles Perry

Charles Perry, 24, of St. Paul, is charged with selling cocaine and marijuana. Perry reportedly was referred to a confidential informant by another narcotics dealer.

According to police, on March 12 Perry arranged to sell some marijuana to the informant at the Shell gas station at the corner of McKnight Road and Lower Afton Road in the Battle Creek neighborhood. Perry sold the informant $60 worth of marijuana, which the informant then turned over to police.

Later, on June 25, the informant again purchased marijuana from Perry, this time on West Seventh Street.

A third time, the informant allegedly purchased a quarter ounce of cocaine from Perry. On separate occasions, another informant also reportedly purchased marijuana and cocaine from Perry.

Perry faces a maximum of 25 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, or both for the cocaine charges.

Prince Williams

Prince Williams, 22, of St. Paul, is charged with crimes committed for the benefit of a gang. He allegedly possessed a stolen pistol.

On May 23, a St. Paul police officer responded to a call of a weapons complaint in the area of Payne Avenue and Jenks Street in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood. An anonymous caller had reported seeing a man in a white van parked in the U.S. Bank parking lot holding a gun.

The officer responded to the scene, and found no van, but did see three males exit a nearby car. The officer reported recognizing Williams from previous police contact.

Upon approaching the emptied car, the officer spotted a black handgun, which was found to be stolen in St. Paul on Jan. 24.

Officers linked the gun to Williams, who according to the complaint meets a 9-point set of criteria for being a gang member.

Cedric Benjamin

Cedric Dion Benjamin, 47, of St. Paul is charged with selling marijuana. Benjamin reportedly had phone conversations with Isaiah Henry, who was being wiretapped as part of the Safe Streets initiative after being identified by authorities as a narcotics dealer. Henry and Benjamin allegedly made plans to travel to Chicago via the Megabus to purchase marijuana, officials learned from a wiretap.

On June 20, 2013, police positioned themselves at the Megabus dropoff location at the intersection of Pascal Street and St. Anthony Boulevard in St. Paul, and they spotted Benjamin walking with a tan duffel bag. They detained Benjamin and seized the bag, which reportedly contained a half pound of marijuana.

Benjamin told police he’d spent $2,500 on the pot and expected to make about $500 profit for selling the leafy substance.

Isaiah Henry

Isaiah Jabril Henry, 30, of St. Paul is charged with selling cocaine and marijuana. He reportedly was busted with the help of an informant. The informant arranged to meet him to purchase marijuana at the intersection of Cook Avenue and Arcade Street. The exchange allegedly took place in November 2012 under police surveillance and audio monitoring.

The informant again arranged to meet with Henry on Jan. 24, this time to buy four grams of cocaine. The informant bought the cocaine with $400 in funds provided by the Safe Streets investigators and turned the substance into police, where it was tested positive as cocaine.

The complaint said additional exchanges were: a Jan. 31, 2013, sale of marijuana; an April 22 sale of 14 grams of cocaine, and a May 24 sale of 27 grams of cocaine.

Henry is held on a $200,000 bail.

Additional charges

• Tracy Marcylous Rawls, 48, is charged with selling marijuana.

• Christopher Hill, 22, is charged with illegally possessing guns.

Contact Patrick Larkin at 651-748-7816 or at


The busts: 16 arrested in East Side gang targeting

The detail: Criminal complaints outline charges filed against alleged gang members

The big picture: Can the police busts make a dent in the East Side Boyz?

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