MULTI-AGENCY GANG (MAG) UNIT INVESTIGATION LEADS TO FEDERAL INDICTMENT OF FnD GANG MEMBERS, INCLUDING TWO WHO ARE CHARGED WITH THE MOTHER’S DAY SHOOTING
U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr., announced the recent unsealing of a superseding indictment charging members of the Frenchmen/Derbigny gang, or “FnD,” with violating federal drug and firearm laws. A federal grand jury returned the superseding indictment on February 27, 2014, charging TRAVIS SCOTT, a/k/a “Trap” or “Slim,” age 29; STANLEY SCOTT, a/k/a “Stizzle,” age 23; SHAWN SCOTT, a/k/a “Shizzle,” age 25; AKEIN SCOTT, a/k/a “Keemy,” age 20; JEREMIAH JACKSON, a/k/a “Rocky,” age 23; GRALEN BENSON, a/k/a “Dooley,” age 26; BRIAN BENSON, a/k/a “Dub” or “Dubba,” age 24; CRYSTAL SCOTT, a/k/a “Chris,” age 32; and RICHMOND SMITH, a/k/a “Ace,” age 25, with various violations of the Federal Controlled Substances Act and the Federal Gun Control Act.
According to the superseding indictment, the Frenchmen/Derbigny gang conspired from 2006 through 2013 to violate federal drug distribution laws. The superseding indictment also alleges that some of the members, TRAVIS SCOTT, STANLEY SCOTT, SHAWN SCOTT, AKEIN SCOTT, JEREMIAH JACKSON, GRALEN BENSON, and RICHMOND SMITH, conspired to possess and use firearms in furtherance of the drug distribution operation. The superseding indictment specifically alleges that AKEIN SCOTT and his brother, SHAWN SCOTT, discharged firearms into a Mother’s Day second-line parade on May 12, 2013, in furtherance of that drug conspiracy. As part of this overall federal gang indictment and with the full cooperation of the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, the United States Attorney’s Office will be adopting the firearms and drug charges that are currently pending in state court on the individual gang members in an effort to avoid a duplication of resources.
If convicted for violating federal drug conspiracy laws, the charged individuals face a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, a $10,000,000 fine, and at least five years of supervised release. Those individuals charged with conspiring to possess firearms in furtherance of the drug distribution conspiracy face a maximum twenty years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release.
This superseding indictment represents a coordinated effort of federal and state law enforcement authorities within the Multi-Agency Gang (“MAG”) Unit. Federal agents and New Orleans Police Department officers assigned to the MAG Unit arrested GRALEN BENSON and JEREMIAH JACKSON on March 7, 2014. BRIAN BENSON was arrested by the MAG Unit on March 10, 2014. TRAVIS SCOTT is presently in federal custody, while STANLEY SCOTT, SHAWN SCOTT, and AKEIN SCOTT are currently in state custody. RICHMOND SMITH and CRYSTAL SCOTT are still at large.
U. S. Attorney Polite thanked all members of the MAG Unit for their contributions to this investigation and prosecution.
“Following one of the most despicable shootings in our city’s recent history, our federal, state and local law enforcement partners collaborated in an unprecedented fashion to identify the allegedly responsible individuals,” stated U.S. Attorney Polite. “This superseding indictment reflects the results of the MAG Unit’s outstanding work. Let this be a signal to the entire community: those who terrorize our streets through drug trafficking and gun violence will be brought to justice.”
ATF Special Agent in Charge Phil Durham stated, “Since the day of this horrendous crime where 19 people were shot while attending a parade celebrating Mother’s Day, ATF Special Agents assigned to the MAG Unit have worked around the clock with investigators and prosecutors to see that those involved are held accountable for their actions. ATF will continue to dedicate our resources to targeting and reducing violent crime in the City of New Orleans.”
“This indictment is another clear signal that the rules have changed -- there are real consequences for violence in our city. Since the fall of 2012, the Multi-Agency Gang Unit has led to the indictments of 83 individuals associated with 8 groups,” said Mayor Landrieu. “Through NOLA FOR LIFE, we will continue to focus on keeping our citizens safe, reclaiming our neighborhoods, and offering opportunities to those who want to make better choices.”
NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas said, “The collaboration of all partners in the Multi-Agency Gang (MAG) Unit has proven to be undeniably effective in getting some of the city’s most violent criminals out of our neighborhoods. In some cases, innocent people felt they were being held hostage by fear of illegal activities that were prevalent in their communities. These indictments are proof that the game has changed. As a team - we are focused and we are unrelenting.”
U. S. Attorney Polite reiterated that the superseding indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
ATF Special Agents assigned to the MAG Unit are the lead case agents. The prosecution is being handled by 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.