POSTED: Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 1:30pm
UPDATED: Thursday, May 9, 2013 - 3:06pm
NEW ORLEANS, LA (NBC33) — Officials in New Orleans are sending a stern message today following the announcement of the city’s largest gang related indictment
“The message to these individuals is simple…We are coming after you and we will not be stopped,” Leon Cannizzaro, District Attorney, said. “We are taking our streets back for the law abiding citizens of our community.”
The multi-agency gang unit conducted an long term, intensive investigation that resulted in a 51 count indictment against 15 defendants. The individuals charged are believed to be responsible for 15 deaths within the city.
“We are going to stop the culture of death and change it into a culture of life. “We have to stop the shooting. We have sent a very clear message…that we are coming after the 650 individuals in this city that continue to wreak havoc and have no respect for life.”
The individuals charged are said to be part of the 110’ers gang, which is considered an umbrella organization of several smaller neighborhood gangs. It began in the summer of 2012.
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" were each indicted with a single count of racketeering. Additionally, each defendant was charged with various other crimes ranging from perjury and obstruction of justice to armed robbery and murder.
The MAG Unit was formed several months ago to try and focus additional resources on the groups of individuals who continue to distribute drugs and commit acts of violence in our neighborhoods. The unit is an integral component of the Group Violence Reduction Strategy, a key initiative of Mayor Mitch Landrieu's NOLA FOR LIFE comprehensive murder reduction strategy. The Group Violence Reduction Strategy, pioneered by criminologist David Kennedy, is designed to address the relatively small number of people who are locked in various group dynamics on the streets, and who are responsible for an overwhelming majority of murders. For those who choose to stop the violence and want support, there is a team providing support services to help them. Those who continue violence will bring unprecedented attention to their entire group from law enforcement.
The Multi-Agency Gang Unit is the central bureau tasked with gathering evidence against violent gangs and all of their members that leads to the prosecution and conviction of entire violent gangs in either state or federal court on criminal conspiracy, street gang, or racketeering charges. The MAG Unit is conducting several simultaneous investigations on identified groups, which will result in state and federal prosecutions of these groups -- thereby removing violent offenders who are responsible for the majority of violence on the streets of New Orleans.