Joe Gustafson Sr., charged with seven felonies, is on the lam

Categories: Crime

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Hennepin County mugshot
Have you seen this man? Big Joe is on the lam
​Joseph "Big Joe" Gustafson, a former Hell's Angel-turned bail bondsman who terrorized north Minneapolis for years, has been charged with seven felonies -- and he's on the run.

Authorities aren't saying whether they know where Gustafson might be headed, but when they catch him, there will be plenty of evidence to put him in jail for a very long time.

As we documented in our February 2010 cover story, "Fallen Angel," Gustafson is the mastermind of a north criminal organization. The charges against him include felony racketeering, kidnapping, making terroristic threats, aggravated robbery, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, and arson.

Last fall and this winter, Gustafson's son, "Little Joe," and several other members of the BDP were charged in connection with the group's activities. But nabbing Big Joe will be a major coup.

As the allegations laid out in this criminal complaint show, the man has devastated many lives.

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​His "Beat-Down Posse" reigned by inflicting brutal assaults--often with the help of lead- or sand-filled gloves--on anyone Big Joe wished to intimidate. The Gustafsons also recruited for their group, dangling the promise of unlimited women to anyone who joined "the team," according to court documents.

Each member of the group had an individual assignment, based on their skills. Drug dealers were especially prized.


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