New Orleans Men Sentenced After Pleading Guilty To Drug And Gun Charges
THOMAS HILLIARD, 24, CHRISTIAN JOHNSON, 25, WILLIE HILLIARD, 23, and JAMES BROWN, 24, residents of New Orleans, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk, after pleading guilty to crack cocaine and gun charges, announced U. S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr. THOMAS HILLIARD was sentenced to 121 months imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release. JOHNSON was sentenced to 228 months imprisonment followed by five years of supervised release. WILLIE HILLIARD and BROWN were sentenced to 12 months and 42 months imprisonment, respectively, followed by three years of supervised release.
THOMAS HILLIARD and JOHNSON pled guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute two hundred eighty grams or more of crack cocaine. JOHNSON also pled guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and felon in possession of a firearm. WILLIE HILLIARD pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute a quantity of crack. BROWN pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of crack cocaine.
The investigation of THOMAS HILLIARD, JOHNSON, WILLIE HILLIARD and BROWN was led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) and the New Orleans Police Department (“NOPD”) as part of the Multi-Agency Gang Unit. These defendants, along with other individuals who have also pled guilty to drug charges, were identified as a gang known as “MMG” that distributed cocaine and possessed firearms to further their drug trafficking activities in the Seventh Ward area of New Orleans.
The Multi-Agency Gang Unit is an NOPD led division which includes federal agents from A.T.F., the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Marshals Service, as well as participants from the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana State Police, State Probation and Parole, and the New Orleans District Attorney’s Office.
“These lengthy prison sentences are the result of the MAG Unit’s continued commitment to fighting violent crime, stated U.S. Attorney Polite. “Our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners will not rest until our streets are safe for all residents of Southeast Louisiana.”
“The Multi-Agency Gang Unit continues to prove its effectiveness in getting violent criminals off the streets and out of our neighborhoods,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “Since the fall of 2012, the MAG Unit has led to the indictments of 83 individuals associated with 8 groups. Through NOLA FOR LIFE, we will continue to focus on keeping our residents safe, reclaiming our neighborhoods, and offering opportunities to those who want to make better choices.”
The investigation was conducted by Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and the New Orleans Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Andre Jones.