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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

YMM Gang Member Sentenced to 16 Years for Drug and Gun Conspiracy

Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that DELWIN McLAREN, age 25, a resident of New Orleans, was sentenced today after having previously been found guilty of participating in a drug conspiracy and a firearms conspiracy. U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt sentenced McLAREN to serve 192 months in prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a $200 special assesment.

  

In June of 2017, DELWIN McLAREN, JAWAN FORTIA, DEDRICK KEELEN, LIONEL ALLEN, BRYAN SCOTT and were convicted following a 7-day trial.  According to evidence presented at trial, McLAREN was a member of the “Young Melph Mafia” gang, also referred to as “YMM.”  The YMM gang was initially formed in or about 2005 and continued to exist through 2014.  During the course of the federal investigation into the gang, agents learned that the defendants controlled an area of Central City New Orleans along Martin Luther King Boulevard near the former Melpomene Housing Development.  The gang, which started when the members were in their early teens, participated in a wide ranging conspiracy to distribute street level quantities of crack cocaine in Central City and participated in several acts of violence against rival gangs, such as the 110ers.  The members of the YMM were associates of the members of the Allen family, who were also indicted and convicted in federal court in 2014.  Three members of the 110ers gang were convicted on January 29, 2015, in Orleans Parish Criminal Court for the Briana Allen shooting.

 

The jury found McLAREN guilty of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine and a quantity of marijuana along with conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking crimes.

 

McLAREN was one of eleven defendants originally charged in August of 2014 in a superseding indictment involving gun and drug conspiracies. Five YMM defendants pled guilty to the conspiracy charges and were sentenced. JACOBI “CO” BOYD was sentenced to 480 months of incarceration; ALFRED “AL” COBBINS was sentenced to 252 months of incarceration; SHAWN “GUNNER” GRACIN was sentenced to 270 months of incarceration; RUBEN “RUE” GEIGER was sentenced to 220 months of incarceration; DARIUS “D-MAN” WILLIAMS was sentenced to 156 months of incarceration; and DEONTRE “SOULJA” HILLS was sentenced to 96 months of incarceration. In August of 2015, federal RICO and murder charges were added against the remaining defendants in a Second Superseding Indictment. JEFFREY WILSON pled guilty to the drug charges and was sentenced to 180 months of incarceration.  DEDRICK KEELEN was sentenced to life plus 10 years last week after being convicted of multiple counts at trial. JAWAN FORTIA was sentenced to life in prison as well. LIONEL ALLEN and BRYAN SCOTT, who went to trial with McLAREN, are awaiting sentencing.

 

Acting U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as part of the metro area’s Multi-Agency Gang Unit (MAG) in investigating this matter.  As an integral component of NOLA FOR LIFE’s Group Violence Reduction Strategy, the MAG Unit consists of a partnership with New Orleans Police Department (NOPD); Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office (DA); Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO); Louisiana State Police (LSP); Parole Board of the Louisiana Department of Corrections; United States Attorney’s Office (USAO); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); United States Marshal’s Service (USMS); and the United States Probation & Parole Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.  Assistant United States Attorneys Edward Rivera, Nolan Paige, and Nicholas Moses were in charge of the prosecution.

 

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Updated November 15, 2017