NEWORLEANS-- Authorities announced a sweeping state racketeering indictment charging a group of local gangs with numerous crimes and murders, including that of a 5-year-old girl killed by stray gunfire last year at Central City birthday party.
The cooperative effort by local, state and federal enforcement agencies led to what District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro called 'one of the most sweeping street gang' indictments in the history of the city.
The 51-count racketeering indictment names 15 alleged members the '110'ers' gang, based out of the 10th and 11th wards. They are linked to 15 murders in recent years.
'We believe that the 110ers, which is an umbrella group if you will, for three other gangs, were in the business of everything you can imagine: narcotics, intimidation, racketeering, perjury, and the like,' said New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
Those smaller gangs were the so-called St. Thomas Youngins, the Skull Squad Mafia, and the St. Mary's Mafia.
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The following people were each indicted on a single count of racketeering: Rico Newman aka 'Lil Rico', Sam Newman aka 'Lil', Demond Sandifer aka 'Lil D', Antonio Johnson aka 'Big Rico', Eric Shelbia aka 'E-Gunna', Ja'On Jones aka 'Sticks', Joshua Pittman, Kerry Pittman, Ronald Thompson, Stanton Guillory aka 'Na Na', Charles Lewis, Kevin Calhoun, Charlie Brown aka 'Mac', Tyron Harden aka 'T-Man' and Joseph Bienemy aka 'Doo-Man'.
All of the indicted suspects are in custody except Ja'On Jones and Joshua Pittman.
Each defendant was charged with various other crimes ranging from perjury and obstruction of justice to armed robbery and murder.
'What we have found is that it is not just a one-off,' said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. 'It is a group of people that for years and years and years have terrorized the streets of New Orleans.'
Late last May, men with assault rifles sprayed the 1200 block of Simon Bolivar Avenue with bullet, killing Brianna Allen, 5, and Shawanna Pierce, 33. Three others were injured, including two men who were supposedly targeted.
The indictment names Sam Newman, Demond Sandifer, Tyron Harden and Stanton Guillory in that shooting.
The gang indictment was investigated by the 'multi-agency gang unit,' a group comprised of members of area law enforcement.
The agencies include: the New Orleans Police Department, Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office, Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office, Louisiana State Police, Parole Board of the Louisiana Department of Corrections, United States Attorney's Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation,Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, United States Marshal's Service and United States Probation & Parole Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
All of the officials at the news conference Thursday lauded the unit's efforts and the cooperation among the different agencies.