Two members of violent “Josephine Dog Pound” sentenced to 30 years in federal court to RICO and murder charges
TONY SIMMONS, age 23, and HAROLD JONES, age 36, both of New Orleans, Louisiana were sentenced in federal court by the U.S. District Court Judge Martin L.C. Feldman. SIMMONS pled guilty pursuant to a F.R.C.P. 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement to Counts 1, 2, 7 and 18 of a Federal Superseding Indictment, which called for a thirty (30) year term of imprisonment. JONES, too, pled guilty pursuant to a F.R.C.P. 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement to Counts 1, 2 and 5 of the Superseding Indictment, which also called for a thirty (30) year term of imprisonment.
Count 1 charged SIMMONS and JONES with participating in a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”) conspiracy, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962 (d).
Count 2 charged SIMMONS and JONES with conspiracy to distribute 280 grams or more of cocaine base (“crack”), a quantity of cocaine hydrochloride, heroin, and marijuana, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), (b)(1)(A), (b)(1)(C), (b)(1)(D) and 846.
Count 5 charged JONES with using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and drug trafficking crime, causing the death of Elwood Pleasant on March 23, 2004, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(j) and 2.
Count 7 charged SIMMONS with causing death through the use of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(j) and (2), for the murder of Ronnie Meade on July 14, 2005.
Count 18 charged SIMMONS with being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 922(g)(1).
This prosecution arose from an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) that targeted an area in New Orleans which exhibited a disproportionate amount of violent crimes and narcotics trafficking. During the course of the investigation, specific individuals were identified as the main perpetrators of many of the violent acts and the narcotics distribution. The superseding indictment charged MICHAEL ANDERSON, HAROLD JONES, THERON JONES, JEREMIAH MILLRO, COREY OLIVER, DARRYL SHIELDS, JEROME SIMMONS and TONY SIMMONS, for the their involvement in a racketeering enterprise, sometimes referred to as the “Josephine Dog Pound.” All members of the organization engaged in, among other things, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, distribution of controlled substances, murder, conspiracy to commit murder and attempted murder.
All eight defendants have pled guilty.
The pleas of JONES and SIMMONS are the successful result of a federal investigation and prosecution into two cold-case murders, one of which was seven years old and the other of which was six years old.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and by the New Orleans Police Department, and is prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Privitera.
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