EIGHT CHARGED IN 24-COUNT FEDERAL SUPERSEDING INDICTMENT FOR RICO, VIOLENT CRIMES IN AID OF RACKETEERING, AND FEDERAL DRUG AND GUN VIOLATIONS
MICHAEL ANDERSON, age 24, HAROLD JONES, age 34, THERON JONES, age 21, JEREMIAH MILLRO, age 23, COREY OLIVER, age 21, DARRYL SHIELDS, age 23, JEROME SIMMONS, age 23, and TONY SIMMONS, age 23, all of New Orleans, Louisiana were charged today in a 24-count superseding indictment with violations of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act, violent crime in aid of racketeering, the federal controlled substances act and the federal gun control act, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.
According to the indictment, all of the listed individuals were involved in a racketeering enterprise, sometimes referred to as the Josephine Dog Pound. It is alleged that all members of the organization engaged in conspiracy to distribute crack, cocaine, heroin and marijuana, distribution of those drugs, murder, conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder
The RICO indictment alleges that these eight defendants comprised and participated in the affairs of an enterprise bordered by Washington Avenue, Danneel Street, Sixth Street, Baronne Street, and beyond.
This Enterprise’s alleged purposes included:
a. the members controlling their territory for drug distribution;
b. using violence and threats of violence including assault, robbery,
and murder in order to control their territory;
c. preserving and protecting their power, territory and profits through
intimidation, violence, threats of violence, assault, robbery, and murder;
The Enterprise promoted its activities by:
a. keeping the victims, potential victims, and witnesses in fear of retribution
through violence and threats of violence;
b. providing financial support and necessary information to members of the
Enterprise, including those who were incarcerated;
c. and providing assistance to members of the Enterprise by obstructing and
preventing law enforcement officers from identifying, apprehending,
prosecuting or punishing the offenders;
d. committing acts of violence to protect and expand their operation;
e. promoting a climate of fear through violence and threats of violence;
f. preventing competition from other drug dealers in an around their
geographic territory which they controlled;
g. and, using firearms to protect their drug distribution business.
Among other charges, the indictment alleges that on approximately March 23, 2004, HAROLD JONES and JEREMIAH MILLRO murdered Elwood Pleasant. Additionally, it is alleged that on July 14, 2005, MICHAEL ANDERSON, DARRYL SHIELDS, and TONY SIMMONS murdered Ronnie Meade. It is also alleged that September 4, 2006, DARRYL SHIELDS murdered Herbert Lane and committed an assault with a dangerous weapon and attempted to murder C.A. and J.Y. It is also alleged that SHIELDS murdered Kevin Williams on January 4, 2007. Also according to the indictment, on December 27, 2007, DARRYL SHIELDS and JEROME SIMMONS did commit an assault with a dangerous weapon and attempted to murder B.P.
ATF Special Agent in Charge Phillip Durham said:
“ATF’s primary goal is to reduce the number of homicides and other violent crimes committed with firearms. We will continue to focus on all violent offenders who plague our neighborhoods committing a disproportional amount of violent crime through the New Orleans metropolitan area. This successful investigation and indictment demonstrates ATF’s commitment to putting violent offenders behind bars. ATF, NOPD, and our other federal, state, and local law enforcement partners are committed to making all of our communities safer.”
Speaking on today’s indictment, United States Attorney Jim Letten stated:
“Last month, United States Attorney General Eric Holder stood here in New Orleans and announced this Administration’s absolute commitment to aggressively combating violent, firearm-related crime through Project Safe Neighborhoods. It is appropriate, then, that today we once again unveil a significant indictment charging eight individuals who allegedly acted as an organized enterprise with serious federal offenses, including RICO conspiracy, murder, and numerous other violent offenses. This and other important cases like it are possible because of our prosecutors, together with Special Agents of the ATF and New Orleans Police Department work in seamless partnership as a cornerstone of PSN. We will continue to do everything in our power to take violent offenders out of our neighborhoods and off our streets.”
The defendants each face a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, millions in fines and at least three years supervised release. The indictment also alleges special findings against the HAROLD JONES, MICHAEL ANDERSON and DARRYL SHIELDS providing for the possible imposition of the death penalty if convicted of either Counts 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 14, 15 and 17.
U. S. Attorney Jim Letten reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the New Orleans Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Privitera.
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