DICKINSON — Gang members from Bakersfield, Calif., have a violent presence in western North Dakota, according to federal and state court documents.
Charges against five men related to a July 2013 shooting through an apartment window in Minot say three of the men have known gang affiliations in Bakersfield, where they lived before moving to Dickinson.
Bakersfield police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the Country Boy Crips gang had moved 10 to 20 members to Dickinson as of July 2013, according to documents in a separate federal case. The agencies consider CBC to be a violent street gang that deals in drugs and women, and commits murders.
In the Minot case, alleged shooter James Robinson shot through the window of the victim’s apartment out of revenge, investigator Shawn Wegner said in an affidavit. The victim Christopher Docher, was shot in the neck. It’s unclear if he was the intended target, officials said.
The act was retaliation over a Minot bar fight the night before the shooting. The bar incident hospitalized Johny Butler, investigators said. Another defendant, Jimmy Lee Stewart, who also lived in Dickinson at the time, allegedly directed Robinson to “take care of” the group that assaulted Butler.
Robinson, Charles Tomlin, Calvin Rogers and Thomas Dumas have pre-trial conferences together in March on Class AA felony conspiracy to commit murder charges. Robinson also faces with a Class A felony attempted murder charge. The charge against Stewart was dismissed.
Records in another Ward County case against Stewart show he has ties to another Bakersfield gang member. According to the original complaint, Stewart and Myles Griffin, who have been charged multiple times for participating in a street gang in Bakersfield, robbed a Minot home at gunpoint in October 2012. In the affidavit, an investigator wrote that the majority of the seven victims did not want to press charges. At the scene, they were overheard making comments about “just handling this themselves.”
Stewart was also charged in the FBI’s Operation Pipe Cleaner, a federal investigation that led to 22 arrests related to organized drug-dealing in Dickinson earlier this year. Another of those arrested, Spencer Earl Rogers, was arrested and charged in Bakersfield shortly thereafter with first-degree murder and with participating in a street gang.