Tag: harvey hustlers

Jefferson Parish prosecutors in Harvey Hustlers cases receive top FBI awards

Two Jefferson Parish prosecutors who are working with the joint local and federal task force that dismantled the notorious Harvey Hustlers gang, sending dozens of extremely violent drug dealers to prison for as long as 120 years, received 2016 FBI Director’s Awards for their ongoing work in the case.

Assistant District Attorneys Doug Freese and Seth Shute were among the New Orleans-area local and federal law enforcement officials to receive the award in the Outstanding Criminal Investigation category on Thursday (Sept. 15) from FBI Director James Comey, during a ceremony in Washington D.C.

Members of the FBI New Orleans Gang Task Force, which initiated the investigation seven years ago, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office also were named to receive the awards.

The Director’s Awards, considered to be among the most prestigious accolades within the FBI, are given annually to Bureau employees and others to recognize their exemplary contributions and service to their communities. This year’s recipients include men and women who investigated deadly terrorist and cyber attacks, designed innovative technology and training and provided exceptional service to colleagues and victims of crime, according to the FBI.

Read the FBI New Orleans announcement here.

Considered the scourge of some West Bank neighborhoods, the Harvey Hustlers traces its roots to the 1980s in the Scotsdale subdivision, from where a core group of members oversaw a narcotics distribution ring. The gang enlisted affiliates from other West Bank neighborhoods to help import the narcotics into Jefferson Parish from as far as Texas and to distribute it in the area.

The Harvey Hustlers had an enforcement arm known as the Murder Squad, which used violence to protect its illegal activities. Numerous homicides were tied to the gang, including those of an 81-year-old Bridge City woman and a 58-year-old Marrero man, neither of whom was the intended target.

The FBI New Orleans Gang Task Force and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office initiated the investigation in 2009, leading to more than 65 criminal indictments in state and federal courts. Since the investigation began, Jefferson Parish saw a 39-percent decrease in its homicide rate through 2015, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office collaborated in deciding the jurisdiction in which the cases would be prosecuted, depending on whether federal or state law could provide the more appropriate punishment.

Convictions in Jefferson Parish’s 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna, and U.S. District Court in New Orleans, led to sentences ranging from five years to life in prison. The state and federal charges ranged from heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine distribution, racketeering, conspiracy to distribute narcotics, firearms offenses, homicide and murder-in-aid of racketeering.

In the Jefferson Parish, Freese and Shute prosecuted more than 30 Harvey Hustlers and their affiliates. Of them, 21 defendants were charged last year by a state grand jury in a sweeping 30-count racketeering and conspiracy case that includes a pending second-degree murder case.

Among them was Robert Williams, a Harvey Hustlers leader who was convicted at trial and sentenced in January to 120 years in prison. Each of the Harvey Hustlers who already had prior criminal convictions received no less than 20-year prison sentences in the Jefferson Parish cases.

This is the second time this year the Harvey Hustlers task force has been recognized. In February, New Orleans’ Metropolitan Crime Commission awarded the task force its 2016 Excellence in Law Enforcement Award.

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Harvey Hustlers gang associate pleads guilty to narcotics charges

A Harvey man with ties to the Harvey Hustlers street gang has pleaded guilty to narcotics trafficking offenses in exchange for a 12-year prison sentence.

Glendale A. Houston, 30, pleaded guilty as charged on Monday (July 25) to two counts of distribution of cocaine, possession of heroin and possession of methamphetamine, court records show.

Judge Conn Regan of the 24th Judicial District Court, who accepted the plea, sentenced Houston to 12 years in prison on each count and ran them concurrently.

Houston was arrested in connection with the local and federal investigation of the Harvey Hustlers, whose members and affiliates were responsible for the movement of illegal narcotics into the West Jefferson area.

The gang, whose roots date to the 1980s, originated in Harvey’s Scotsdale neighborhood and used violence and even homicide to protect its illegal activities. Several of Houston’s associates, including relatives, were prosecuted in U.S. District Court in New Orleans for their involvement in Harvey Hustler activities.

In Jefferson Parish, a grand jury handed up a two-count indictment on Feb. 25, charging Houston with distributing cocaine on two dates in March 2013, court records show. That prosecution concluded on Monday with his guilty pleas.

Houston separately pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and possession of heroin on Monday. Judge Regan sentenced Houston to 10 years in prison on each count, and ran them concurrently with each other and the 12-year sentence he received for the cocaine conviction.

That case stems from his Feb. 10 arrest in Harvey, where officers conducting a narcotics investigation attempted to stop the vehicle Houston was driving, according to the arrest report. Houston led the officers on a brief pursuit through a residential neighborhood.

When he stopped, he threw a large amount of currency to a woman and told her, “Take the money so the police can’t take it,” according to the report.

The officers got the $6,729, in denominations consistent with street-level narcotics sales, along with 2.9 grams of methamphetamine and .6 gram of heroin. He also had a small amount of marijuana, leading to a misdemeanor charge to which he pleaded guilty on Monday and received a 10-day jail sentence.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New Orleans Gang Task Force and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the Harvey Hustlers. Assistant District Attorney Doug Freese handled the Houston case.

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Harvey Hustler associate sentenced to 35 years in quintuple shooting

Days after he was sentenced for federal homicide and narcotics charges, a Waggaman drug dealer tied to the notorious Harvey Hustlers street gang was sentenced in state court on Monday (April 25) to 35 years in prison for a West Jefferson shooting that injured three toddlers and two women. None of the five injured victims was an intended target of the gunfire.

Frankie Hookfin Jr., 24, who was part of an offshoot to the Harvey Hustlers, pleaded guilty in Jefferson Parish’s 24th Judicial District Court earlier this year to five counts of attempted second-degree murder, aggravated criminal damage to property and aggravated flight. His sentencing was postponed to Monday, as Hookfin’s guilty pleas in state and federal court were a result of the coordinated effort between the United States Attorney’s Office and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office.

Those charges stem from his involvement in a shooting at the Lapalco Apartments in the 2300 block of Lapalco Boulevard in Harvey on April 22, 2013. Hookfin and a second gunman stood outside an apartment door about 4:20 a.m., and opened fire, authorities said.

Immediately after the shooting, Hookfin led police on a chase across the Crescent City Connection into downtown New Orleans, where he wrecked his car at the Earhart Boulevard exit. Hookfin was injured after jumping or falling from the exit ramp to the ground below, authorities said.

Judge Henry Sullivan of the 24th Judicial District Court, who accepted Hookfin’s guilty plea on Jan. 19, handed down the 35-year sentence on Monday. Judge Sullivan ran the sentence concurrently with a 35-year prison sentenced Hookfin received last week in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office originally charged Hookfin and three others with the attempted murders, but later dismissed the charges against two of them. The third man, Charlie Gumms, was among the 21 defendants charged in a superseding indictment last year, in connection with the Harvey Hustlers narcotics distribution ring.

Gumms, 20, of Terrytown, pleaded guilty on Feb. 1, to five counts of attempted second-degree murder for the Lapalco Apartments shooting, racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute heroin. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Hookfin was not included in that 21-defendant Harvey Hustler case, because the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans charged him with the same narcotics-related activities in federal court last year.

Hookfin pleaded guilty on Sept. 22, to charges of causing a death through the use of firearms and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin. In connection with that plea, U.S. District Court Judge Lance Africk sentenced Hookfin on Thursday (April 21) to 35 years in prison.

In that case, Hookfin admitted he was among four men who on Feb. 11, 2013, went to Marrero looking to kill a rival to their narcotics ring, “Buddy Boy,” federal prosecutors say in court documents. Hookfin and others, went to a house in the 6100 block of August Avenue and opened fire as they walked down the street, causing several people outside to flee.

Emeal Washington, 58, who was visiting a friend at the house, was shot dead as he ran, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said at the time. Gunmen fired 81 bullets.

On Feb. 13, 2013, Hookfin was among the same group that went to Bridge City to attack another rival to their narcotics ring. Hookfin and two others stormed the house, kicking in the front door and opening fire, authorities said.

Doretha Richardson, 81, whose grandson was the target in the home invasion, was shot and killed in her kitchen. Hookfin also shot a cohort, Isaac Smith, in the back during that crime, federal prosecutors say.

Hookfin also admitted he was among the shooters at two other incidents, including the Jan. 12, 2013, shooting of a man who purchased heroin from the narcotics ring using fake $100 bills, federal prosecutors say. In that incident, the victim, his girlfriend and their two children led the gunmen on a car chase that ended at a store parking lot, where the gunmen opened fire. No one died in that incident.

Then, on Feb. 11, 2013, just before Washington was killed in Marrero, Hookfin and cohorts shot at another man, federal prosecutors say.

Assistant District Attorney Doug Freese prosecuted Hookfin in the state case. Freese and Assistant District Attorney Seth Shute worked on the Harvey Hustler cases with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s New Orleans Gang Task Force and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

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Harvey Hustler associate sentenced to 20 years in prison in racketeering case

A Terrytown man tied to the violent Harvey Hustlers gang that trafficked narcotics on West Jefferson streets was sentenced on Thursday (April 7) to 20 years in prison.

Charles D. Gumms, 22, received the punishment for his Feb. 16 guilty plea to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to distribute heroin and marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute Tramadol. He received a total of 20 years in prison for those offenses.

Gumms also pleaded guilty on Thursday to being a double offender under Louisiana’s habitual offender law, in light of his 2013 conviction of possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. His sentence as a double offender was 20 years, run concurrently with his punishment for the racketeering and narcotics offenses.

Gumms was one of 21 people named in a 30-count indictment filed in state court last year, charging Harvey Hustlers and their affiliates in a sweeping racketeering case built around crack cocaine and heroin distribution ring. Gumms was among the last of those defendants to either plead guilty or be convicted at trial.

Although he pleaded guilty on Feb. 16, his sentencing was postponed to Thursday, until after he received his punishment in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court for probation violation. He pleaded guilty in January 2013 to an illegal gun possession charge and two misdemeanor offenses.

For the probation revocation, he was sentenced to three years in prison by an Orleans Parish judge on March 28.

Jefferson Parish’s Judge Henry Sullivan of the 24th Judicial District Court, who presided over the Harvey Hustler cases, ran the 20-year sentence he handed down on Thursday concurrently with the three years he received for the probation revocation.

Two months before he was indicted in the Harvey Hustlers case, Gumms was shot several times in Terrytown. He and Shamyra Plumer, 18, were in his car in the 2100 block of Esplanade Place in Terrytown, when a gunman or gunmen opened fire.

Gumms drove to a convenience store at Terry Parkway and Carol Sue Avenue, where he ran inside the business and collapsed, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. Deputies’ found Plummer’s body in the back seat of the car.

Assistant District Attorneys Doug Freese and Seth Shute prosecuted the cases.

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Harvey Hustler defendant sentenced to 15 years in prison

A Harvey man with ties to West Jefferson’s Harvey Hustlers street gang was sentenced Monday (Feb. 29) to 15 years in prison.

Keitrel B. Gumms, 25, pleaded guilty on Jan. 13 to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to distribute heroin and marijuana, distribution of marijuana and cruelty to juveniles. Although he pleaded guilty as charged last month, his sentencing hearing was delayed until Monday.

Gumms was sentenced to 15 years in prison for each count except for the cruelty to juveniles offense, for which he received a 10-year sentence. Judge Henry Sullivan of the 24th Judicial District Court ran the sentences concurrently, for a total of 15 years.

Gumms was one of 21 people named in a 30-count indictment prosecutors filed in court last year. Of them, 19 pleaded guilty and the remaining two were convicted of the racketeering-related offenses during their trials. Their sentences ranged from five years to 120 years in prison.

Click here to view the 21 defendants.

The Harvey Hustlers, which traces its roots to the Scotsdale neighborhood in the 1980s, was responsible for trafficking as much as 20 kilograms of cocaine into the West Bank from Texas monthly. The gang also had an enforcement arm called the “Murder Squad,” which used violence to protect its illegal narcotics enterprise.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office collaborated on the cases. The investigation and prosecutions are ongoing in state and federal courts.

Assistant District Attorneys Doug Freese and Seth Shute prosecuted the cases.

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Harvey Hustlers gang investigators and prosecutors receive ‘excellence’ awards

 

Two Jefferson Parish prosecutors and their investigator who are part of the task force that dismantled the murderous Harvey Hustlers street gang on the West Bank were recognized Tuesday (Feb. 23), by the Metropolitan Crime Commission.

Assistant District Attorneys Doug Freese and Seth Shute and Capt. Kevin Smith were among the local and federal authorities to receive the commission’s 2016 Excellence in Law Enforcement Awards, presented annually to those who “contribute to making our community a better place to live, work and raise our families,” Rafael Goyeneche, the commission’s president and executive director, told a luncheon audience at the downtown New Orleans Sheraton.

A joint federal and local task force was born from the Harvey Hustler’s investigation, creating an unparalleled level of cooperation between federal and Jefferson Parish prosecutors, the FBI and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“Over the last twenty years, the level of cooperation between the District Attorney’s Office, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI has been exceptional,” said Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick, the parish’s top prosecutor for two decades.

“In investigating and prosecuting these cases, however, the quality of our cooperative work has gone to a whole new level, with everyone willingly and without reservation contributing enormous manpower and other resources needed to ensure we achieved the results our community deserved,” Connick said.

Between state and federal jurisdictions, the task force’s work led to 66 indictments, and the sentences gang affiliates received ranged from five years to life in prison, said Alan H. Philipson, the Metropolitan Crime Commission’s chairman.

During the five-year period ending in 2015, the active years in Harvey Hustler prosecutions, Jefferson Parish saw a 39-percent reduction in homicides, he said.

Originating in Harvey’s Scotsdale neighborhood, the Harvey Hustlers and its affiliated arms funneled about 20 kilograms of cocaine into West Jefferson from Texas monthly, distributing it and heroin and marijuana on area streets.

It’s “Murder Squad” was charged with protecting the gang’s illegal trade and was responsible for numerous homicides in the area. The gang’s death toll includes an 81-year-old Bridge City woman and a 58-year-old Marrero man, neither of whom were the intended targets.

Federal authorities, led by the FBI, began the investigation in 2009, leading the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans to begin obtaining indictments beginning in 2010. U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite said his office assembled a “dream team of prosecutors” for the Harvey Hustlers case, and his office and Connick’s collaborated in which jurisdiction to prosecute to “give us the biggest bang for our buck.”

Of the cases that were not prosecuted in U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of Louisiana, where several Harvey Hustlers have received life sentences for homicides, 26 defendants have been prosecuted in six cases filed in Jefferson Parish’s 24th Judicial District Court.

Those include 21 defendants who were charged in a 30-count racketeering indictment. In less than a year, two of them were convicted at trial, while the remainder pleaded guilty.

“To all of you, I extend my deepest appreciation for all the work you’ve done,” Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand told award recipients.

From the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, detectives Brad Roniger and Jeremiah Washington also received the Excellence in Law Enforcement Awards.

FBI Special Agents Todd Schliem, Christopher Stokes and ATF Special Agent Karen Evanoski were awarded accolades, as were the FBI’s Gabrella S. Kelly, Karen Reed.

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Orleans, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Duane Evans, David Haller, Greg Kennedy and Myles Ranier received the awards. Paralegal supervisor Ashley R. Rohde was recognized. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Collin Sims, a former federal prosecutor who now oversees felony prosecutions in St. Tammany Parish, also was involved in the Harvey Hustlers cases.

The Metropolitan Crime Commission awarded its 2016 "Excellence in Law Enforcement Awards" to members of the task for that investigated and prosecuted the Harvey Hustlers gang. (JPDA photo)
The Metropolitan Crime Commission awarded its 2016 “Excellence in Law Enforcement Awards” to members of the task for that investigated and prosecuted the Harvey Hustlers gang. (JPDA photo)
Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick Jr., left, speaks with New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, center, and investigator Capt. Kevin Smith during the 2016 Metropolitan Crime Commission awards ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 23. (JPDA photo)
Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick Jr., left, speaks with New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, center, and investigator Capt. Kevin Smith during the 2016 Metropolitan Crime Commission awards ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 23. (JPDA photo)

 

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One year, 21 convictions in Harvey Hustlers gang prosecution in Jefferson Parish

Less than a year after a Jefferson Parish grand jury handed up an indictment charging 21 people in connection with the murderous Harvey Hustlers street gang, the last two defendants accused of racketeering and narcotics-related offenses pleaded guilty as charged Tuesday (Feb. 16).

Kerry J. Reynard and Charles D. Gumms face 20 years in prison in connection their roles in the Harvey Hustlers, a gang that trafficked cocaine and heroin from Texas into West Jefferson for resale on area streets.

The gang traces its roots to Harvey’s Scotsdale neighborhood in the 1980s. Its members and affiliated soldiers protected their drug-dealing activities through the gang’s enforcer arm known as the “Murder Squad,” which is linked to numerous homicides.

Federal and local law enforcement agencies and prosecutors joined forces in arresting and convicting 82 people related to the gang since 2009. Of them, 29 were prosecuted in Jefferson Parish’s 24th Judicial District Court, while the remainder were handled in U.S. District Court in New Orleans. The investigation into the Harvey Hustlers is ongoing.

Reynard, 26, of Marrero, pleaded guilty Tuesday to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute heroin and marijuana. Judge Henry Sullivan, in accepting the guilty plea, sentenced Reynard to 20 years in prison.

Charles D. Gumms, 22, of Terrytown, pleaded guilty to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to distribute heroin and marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute Tramadol.

His plea agreement calls for a 20-year prison sentence, a punishment that was postponed to March 14.

At the time of his arrest in the Harvey Hustler’s case last year, Gumms was serving three years of probation in connection with his Jan. 17, 2013 plea in New Orleans’ Criminal District Court to possession of a firearm with obliterated serial number, theft of a motor vehicle and resisting an officer, records show.

His probation will be revoked because of his Jefferson Parish charges, and his attorney Steven Lemoine said Tuesday he wants to ensure that his New Orleans sentence is run concurrently with his Jefferson Parish punishment. Judge Sullivan agreed to hold off on the sentencing until after the New Orleans case is resolved.

Two months before Gumms was indicted in the Harvey Hustler case, he was shot several times in December 2014, while in his car in the 2100 block of Esplanade Place in Terrytown. His passenger, Shamyra Plummer, 18, also was shot and died from her injuries, authorities said.

Gumms drove to a convenience store at Terry Parkway and Carol Sue Avenue, ran inside and collapsed. Deputies found Plummer’s body in the back seat.

Gumms and Reynard were among the 21 defendants named in a 30-count indictment prosecutors filed in state court in Gretna on Feb. 26, 2015.

“In all my years in law enforcement, I can safely say the Harvey Hustlers gang was by far one of the most violent, vile criminal organizations that this organization has dealt with,” Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand said during a press conference last year after the indictment was filed.

In the indictment, prosecutors asserted that in addition to narcotics trafficking, gang members were responsible for numerous homicides and saw internal strife in which members even targeted each other. It’s unclear whether Gumms’ 2014 shooting was tied to his involvement in the Harvey Hustlers.

The other 19 people charged in the case were:

  • Charlie Gumms, 20, of Terrytown, pleaded guilty Feb. 12 to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to distribute heroin and five counts of attempted second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 25 years on each count, and Sullivan ran the sentences concurrently for a total of 25 years. He is Charles Gumms’ younger brother.
  • Richard Chess, 24, of Harvey, pleaded guilty Feb. 12 to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to distribute heroin, distribution of heroin and cruelty to juveniles. He received a 20-year prison sentence.
  • Carnell Pierce, 35, of Harvey, pleaded guilty Feb. 12 to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to distribute heroin, distribute of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Bryant Gumms, 24, of Harvey, pleaded guilty Thursday (Jan. 28), to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute heroin. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Derrick Gumms, 27, of Harvey, pleaded guilty Thursday (Jan. 28), to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute heroin. He, too, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Bryant and Derrick are siblings.
  • Robert C. Williams, 24, of Avondale, was convicted by a Jefferson Parish jury as charged on Nov. 11 of racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, two counts of convicted felon in possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a stolen firearm and distribution of cocaine. He was sentenced to 120 years in prison.
  • Alcus Smith, 29, of Harvey, stood trial with Williams and was convicted of racketeering, conspiracy to distribute narcotics and distribution of cocaine. He was sentenced to 65 years in prison on Nov. 17. The jury that handed up the verdict was unable to decide Smith’s charge of second-degree murder, leading to a mistrial on that count only. Smith faces retrial on the murder charge.
  • Willie Thornton, 31, of Harvey, pleaded guilty Jan. 13 to racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics and two counts of distribution of cocaine. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Jan. 13.
  • Lashawn Davis, 22, of Gretna, pleaded guilty as charged on Nov. 30 to racketeering, five counts of attempted second-degree murder and two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Davante D. Robertson, 21, of Gretna, pleaded guilty on Dec. 15 to racketeering and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Prosecutors dismissed five counts of attempted second-degree murder.
  • Ellis C. Landix, 30, of Marrero, pleaded guilty on Jan. 13 to conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison as a multiple offender.
  • Paul Smith, 26, of Avondale, pleaded guilty Sept. 28, to racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.
  • Brandon J. Motton, 29, of New Orleans, pleaded guilty on Jan. 199, to racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and heroin, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Keitrel B. Gumms, 25, of Harvey, pleaded guilty Jan. 13 to racketeering, two counts conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, respectively, distribution of cocaine, distribution of marijuana and cruelty to juveniles. His sentencing is set for Feb. 29.
  • Stephanie J. Bradley, 44, of Harvey, pleaded guilty to racketeering on Oct. 19. She has been sentenced to five years in prison.
  • Corey H. Trent, 26, of Marrero, pleaded guilty on Aug 17, to racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and cocaine, distribution of cocaine and cruelty to juveniles. He was sentenced to eight years on prison.
  • Kentaz R. Gayden, 28, of Harahan, pleaded guilty on Dec. 11 to racketeering and two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and heroin. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
  • Rasheed Smith, 25, of Westwego, pleaded guilty on Jan. 4 to racketeering and two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and heroin. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Nathan Carter, 31, of Gretna, pleaded guilty on Oct. 8 to racketeering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Jefferson Parish Assistant District Attorneys Doug Freese and Seth Shute prosecuted them. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the cases.

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Harvey Hustlers racketeering case nets three more guilty pleas

Another three men with ties to the West Jefferson-based Harvey Hustlers street gang pleaded guilty Monday (Feb. 1) in a narcotics racketeering case and were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

Richard Chess, Carlnell Pierce and Charlie Gumms were among the 21 defendants named in a 30-count indictment filed last year in Jefferson Parish’s 24th Judicial District Court. With Monday’s pleas, only two of the 21 defendants still have open racketeering cases.

Chess, 24, of Harvey, pleaded guilty to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to distribute heroin, distribution of heroin and cruelty to juveniles. Judge Henry Sullivan, who has presided over the Harvey Hustler cases, ran Chess’s sentences for each count concurrently, for a total of 20 years.

Chess also pleaded guilty as a double offender under Louisiana’s habitual offender law, for a 2009 conviction of simple escape. His 15-year sentence for Count 2 was increased to 20 years, and run concurrently with his other sentences.

Pierce, 35, of Harvey, pleaded guilty to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to distribute heroin, distribute of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. His sentences also were run concurrently, totaling 20 years.

Pierce also pleaded guilty as a double offender for his 2009 conviction of attempted possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The 15-year prison sentence he received for Count 2 was increased to 20 years and run concurrently with his other sentences.

Gumms, 20, of Terrytown, pleaded guilty to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to distribute heroin and five counts of attempted second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 25 years on each count, and Sullivan ran the sentences concurrently for a total of 25 years.

The attempted-murder charges stem from an April 22, 2013, shooting at the Lapalco Apartments, in the 2300 block of Lapalco Boulevard in Harvey. Authorities say at least two armed men stood outside an apartment and began shooting into the front door. A 1-year-old girl was left paralyzed, and two toddlers, ages 2 and 3, were injured. Additionally, two women, ages 63 and 67, were struck by bullets.

Chess, Pierce and Gumms admitted to roles in the criminal enterprise in which cocaine and heroin was funneled into the area from Texas and sold on New Orleans-area streets. The racketeering offense involved the gang’s activities from January 2006 through January 2015, according to the bill of indictment.

The gang, whose roots date to the 1980s in Harvey’s Scotsdale neighborhood, protected its narcotics trafficking and distribution ring through its enforcement arm known as the Murder Squad. At least seven homicides have been tied to people affiliated with the Harvey Hustlers through the joint local and federal investigation, authorities say.

Through a cooperative effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office, prosecutors have decided which jurisdiction to bring the cases. Federal prosecutors have handled numerous Harvey Hustler cases in U.S. District Court in New Orleans.

In February 2015, prosecutors in Jefferson Parish obtained the 21-defendant indictment in state court. As of Monday, 19 have either pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial. A look of the defendants whose cases have been adjudicated shows:

  • Bryant Gumms, 24, of Harvey, pleaded guilty Thursday (Jan. 28), to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute heroin. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Derrick Gumms, 27, of Harvey, pleaded guilty Thursday (Jan. 28), to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute heroin. He, too, was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Bryant and Derrick are siblings.
  • Robert C. Williams, 24, of Avondale, was convicted by a Jefferson Parish jury as charged on Nov. 11 of racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, two counts of convicted felon in possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a stolen firearm and distribution of cocaine. He was sentenced to 75 years in prison on Jan. 19.
  • Alcus Smith, 29, of Harvey, stood trial with Williams and was convicted of racketeering, conspiracy to distribute narcotics and distribution of cocaine. He was sentenced to 65 years in prison on Nov. 17. The jury that handed up the verdict was unable to decide Smith’s charge of second-degree murder. Prosecutors plan to retry Smith for the second-degree murder charge.
  • Willie Thornton, 31, of Harvey, pleaded guilty Jan. 13 to racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics and two counts of distribution of cocaine. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Jan. 13.
  • Lashawn Davis, 22, of Gretna, pleaded guilty as charged on Nov. 30 to racketeering, five counts of attempted second-degree murder and two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Davante D. Robertson, 21, of Gretna, pleaded guilty on Dec. 15 to racketeering and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Prosecutors dismissed five counts of attempted second-degree murder.
  • Ellis C. Landix, 30, of Marrero, pleaded guilty on Jan. 13 to conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison as a multiple offender.
  • Paul Smith, 26, of Avondale, pleaded guilty Sept. 28, to racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.
  • Brandon J. Motton, 29, of New Orleans, pleaded guilty on Jan. 199, to racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and heroin, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Keitrel B. Gumms, 25, of Harvey, pleaded guilty Jan. 13 to racketeering, two counts conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, respectively, distribution of cocaine, distribution of marijuana and cruelty to juveniles. His sentencing is set for Feb. 29.
  • Stephanie J. Bradley, 44, of Harvey, pleaded guilty to racketeering on Oct. 19. Her sentencing is set for Feb. 16.
  • Corey H. Trent, 26, of Marrero, pleaded guilty on Aug 17, to racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and cocaine, distribution of cocaine and cruelty to juveniles. He was sentenced to eight years on prison.
  • Kentaz R. Gayden, 28, of Harahan, pleaded guilty on Dec. 11 to racketeering and two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and heroin. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
  • Rasheed Smith, 25, of Westwego, pleaded guilty on Jan. 4 to racketeering and two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and heroin. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Nathan Carter, 31, of Gretna, pleaded guilty on Oct. 8 to racketeering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Two defendants still have open cases:

  • Charles D. Gumms, 21, of Terrytown, awaits trial on charges of racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession or distribution of a legend drug without a prescription. Charles Gumms and Charlie Gumms, who pleaded guilty Monday, are siblings.
  • Kerry J. Reynard, 26, of Marrero, is charged with racketeering and two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and heroin.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. Assistant District Attorneys Doug Freese and Seth Shute prosecuted them.

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Harvey Hustlers gang members sentenced to 20 years in prison in drug racketeering case

Two more of the 21 members of the West Jefferson-based Harvey Hustlers street gang who were charged in a 30-count indictment last year were sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday (Jan. 28), as part of plea agreements with the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office.

Bryant Gumms, 24, and Derrick Gumms, 27, siblings who lived in Harvey, each pleaded guilty to racketeering, conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute heroin. Judge Henry Sullivan of the 24th Judicial District Court accepted their pleas and handed down the sentences.

The Gumms brothers admitted to roles in the criminal enterprise whose soldiers funneled cocaine and heroin into the area from Texas and sold the narcotics on New Orleans-area streets. The racketeering offense involved the gang’s activities from January 2006 through January 2015, according to the bill of indictment.

The gang, whose roots date to the 1980s in Harvey’s Scotsdale neighborhood, protected its narcotics trafficking and distribution ring through its enforcement arm known as the Murder Squad. At least seven homicides have been tied to the Harvey Hustlers through the joint local and federal investigation, authorities say.

Through a cooperative effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office, prosecutors decided which jurisdiction to bring the Harvey Hustler cases. Federal prosecutors have handled numerous Harvey Hustler cases in U.S. District Court in New Orleans in recent years. In February 2015, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office obtained a 30-count grand jury indictment in state court, naming 21 defendants.

Bryant Gumms and Derrick Gumms were among them. They were sentenced to 20 years for racketeering, 15 years for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and 20 years for conspiracy to distribute heroin.

Each man also pleaded guilty to being double offenders under Louisiana’s habitual offender law because of prior convictions of narcotics-related offenses. Sullivan increased their 15-year sentences for Count 2 of the indictment to 20 years. He ran the three sentences concurrently, for a total of 20 years in prison.

Of the 21 defendants, 14 have either pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial. A look of the defendants whose cases have been adjudicated shows:

  • Robert C. Williams, 24, of Avondale, was convicted by a Jefferson Parish jury as charged on Nov. 11 of racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, two counts of convicted felon in possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a stolen firearm and distribution of cocaine. He was sentenced to 120 years in prison on Jan. 19.
  • Alcus Smith, 29, of Harvey, stood trial with Williams and was convicted of racketeering, conspiracy to distribute narcotics and distribution of cocaine. He was sentenced to 65 years in prison on Nov. 17. The jury that handed up the verdict was unable to decide Smith’s charge of second-degree murder. Prosecutors plan to retry Smith for the second-degree murder charge.
  • Willie Thornton, 31, of Harvey, pleaded guilty Jan. 13 to racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics and two counts of distribution of cocaine. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Jan. 13.
  • Lashawn Davis, 22, of Gretna, pleaded guilty as charged on Nov. 30 to racketeering, five counts of attempted second-degree murder and two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Davante D. Robertson, 21, of Gretna, pleaded guilty on Dec. 15 to racketeering and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Prosecutors dismissed five counts of attempted second-degree murder.
  • Ellis C. Landix, 30, of Marrero, pleaded guilty on Jan. 13 to conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison as a multiple offender.
  • Paul Smith, 26, of Avondale, pleaded guilty Sept. 28, to racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute oxycodone. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.
  • Brandon J. Motton, 29, of New Orleans, pleaded guilty on Jan. 199, to racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and heroin, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Keitrel B. Gumms, 25, of Harvey, pleaded guilty Jan. 13 to racketeering, two counts conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, respectively, distribution of cocaine, distribution of marijuana and cruelty to juveniles. His sentencing is set for Feb. 29.
  • Stephanie J. Bradley, 44, of Harvey, pleaded guilty to racketeering on Oct. 19. Her sentencing is set for Feb. 16.
  • Corey H. Trent, 26, of Marrero, pleaded guilty on Aug 17, to racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and cocaine, distribution of cocaine and cruelty to juveniles. He was sentenced to eight years on prison.
  • Kentaz R. Gayden, 28, of Harahan, pleaded guilty on Dec. 11 to racketeering and two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and heroin. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
  • Rasheed Smith, 25, of Westwego, pleaded guilty on Jan. 4 to racketeering and two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and heroin. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Nathan Carter, 31, of Gretna, pleaded guilty on Oct. 8 to racketeering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  • Marlon Mercy, 38, of Fresno, Texas, was indicted separately in connection with the Harvey Hustlers in March 2015. He pleaded guilty on Oct. 23 to racketeering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Five defendants still have open cases:

  • Charlie A. Gumms, 20, of Terrytown, remains charged with five counts of attempted second-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics and racketeering.
  • Charles D. Gumms, 21, of Terrytown, awaits trial on charges of racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession or distribution of a legend drug without a prescription.
  • Richard L. Chess, 24, of Harvey, is charged with racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and heroin, distribution of cocaine and cruelty to a juvenile.
  • Kerry J. Reynard, 26, of Marrero, is charged with racketeering and two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and heroin.
  • Carnell S. Pierce, 35, of Harvey, is charged with racketeering, two counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana and heroin, distribution of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. Assistant District Attorneys Doug Freese and Seth Shute prosecuted the cases.

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