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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 7, 2015

FnD Gang Member Pleads Guilty

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that BRIAN BENSON, a/k/a “Dub,” a/k/a “Dubba,” age 31, of New Orleans, pled guilty today in the racketeering conspiracy case involving the Frenchmen/Derbigny gang, or “FnD.”

BENSON pled guilty to two counts of the Third Superseding Indictment.  Count 1 charged BENSON with Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy.  The maximum sentence for Count 1 is a term of life imprisonment.  BENSON also pled guilty to Count 2, charging conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, for which BENSON faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of life imprisonment.  U.S. District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle set sentencing on November 4, 2015.

According to court documents, FnD constituted a racketeering “enterprise” under federal law.  BENSON, as a member of this enterprise, conspired to commit numerous overt acts in furtherance of this enterprise.  These acts included the distribution of illegal narcotics, such as heroin and crack cocaine.  FnD members used a store, the Frenchmen Meat Market, located at Frenchmen and N. Derbigny streets to sell drugs.  As set forth in plea documents, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) raided the store in August 2013 pursuant to a search warrant.  Agents seized video surveillance recordings from the store that showed BENSON and other members of FnD selling drugs over the course of five days.

CRYSTAL SCOTT, RICHMOND SMITH, GRALEN BENSON, and JEREMIAH JACKSON have previously pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.  TRAVIS SCOTT, STANLEY SCOTT, SHAWN SCOTT, and AKEIN SCOTT are scheduled for trial on October 19, 2015.

The Indictment is a product of an ongoing investigation into the violent acts in furtherance of the drug trafficking by the FnD gang.  It represents the continued coordinated effort of the federal and state law enforcement authorities within the Multi-Agency Gang (“MAG”), including the United States Attorney’s Office, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, Special Agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”), and officers of the New Orleans Police Department.  Federal and local authorities also utilized tips through the Crimestoppers Program in the successful investigation of these crimes.

Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Payne and Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian Ebarb, who is assigned from the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, are in charge of the prosecution.

Updated September 1, 2015