Jan 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - All 9,500 inmates in Minnesota's prison system were on a roughly 24 lockdown while authorities conducted a takedown of alleged members of the Native Mob gang.
Authorities say the prisoners were confined to their cells from 4 a.m. Tuesday until 5 a.m. Wednesday and weren't allowed outside contact. Department of Corrections spokesman John Schadl says the lockdown involved all state prisons.
U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Jeanne Cooney says a recently unsealed indictment charges 24 alleged gang members with conspiracy to participate in racketeering and other charges. Some defendants were already in custody on other charges and had to be re-arrested. But six were arrested Tuesday. Six more remain at large.
Schadl says the lockdown protected the safety of those making arrests and ensured word about the takedown didn't get out.