NEW ORLEANS — Two people are still at large and the NOPD says a total of 12 people associated with the St. Roch/Florida area gang are behind bars.
The latest bust is the result of months of undercover work, the NOPD said Friday during a mid-afternoon news conference.
The case, however, is still ongoing, NOPD officials said, and the case is being forwarded to the District Attorney’s office.
The NOPD's Intelligence and Major Narcotics Units have been investigating the intersection of North Tonti Street and Almonaster Avenue since last September.
Surveillance pictures taken by undercover officers show groups of people hanging out on the corner that straddles the St. Roch and Florida neighborhoods.
Police said the alleged drug-dealing even went down in the rain. After months of undercover work, the NOPD said 11 people were arrested in connection with the "89ers” or “t-blocc" gang. The suspects face a range of charges that include distribution and possession of crack cocaine, heroin and marijuana.
Superintendent Ronal Serpas said seven of those suspects said they were directly affiliated with the neighborhood gang.
“If you look at the criminal records of these men, so many of them have gun arrests, so many of them have narcotics arrests, so many of them go in and out of the swinging door over there at criminal court, there’s going to be somebody else to take their place,” Serpas said. “We're going to be there with the neighborhood to fight them back too."
Friday the NOPD announced the arrests of four members of the “89ers” – Marquette Chambers, 35; Tommie Winley, 26; Armando Amador, 20; and Welton Leblanc, 24, was re-booked. Additionally, Jermaine Armstead, 40, turned himself in on May 15.
Warrants, meanwhile, have been issued for D’Oliver Pierre, 18, and Gerald Chambers Sr., 59. Eddie Dokes, 43, has a warrant pending.
According to the NOPD, all were key members of the operation which ran in the median as well as a parking lot of a local convenience store. After police would respond, they would return to these areas and continue doling out their supply.
Sales would begin early in the day and continue through the evening, NOPD said, and “lookouts” would be used to warn those selling of impending police presence or a “suspicions looking vehicle.”
--Eyewitness News Reporter Tania Dall contributed to this report