U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite announced March 11 the superseding indictment against nine members of the Frenchmen/Derbigny gang (aka FnD) — including the alleged shooters in the 2013 Mother's Day shooting at a second line parade — with federal drug and firearms violations in coordination with a drug distribution operation.
On Feb. 27, a federal grand jury returned the indictment linking the group to an alleged conspiracy from 2006 to 2013, including violations of federal drug distribution laws. Among the indicted members are Akein and Shawn Scott, the alleged shooters. Also indicted were Brian Benson, Gralen Benson, Jeremiah Jackson, Crystal Scott, Travis Scott, Stanley Scott and Richmond Smith. The Multi-Agency Gang (MAG) Unit arrested Jackson and Gralen Benson March 7 and Brian Benson March 10. Smith and Crystal Scott are still at large.
Convictions for drug conspiracy bring a maximum of life imprisonment and at least five years of supervised release. Firearm possession conspiracy convictions bring a maximum of 20 years in prison and up to three years of supervised release.
"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," Polite said in a statement. New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas added, "As a team, we are focused and we are unrelenting."
Mayor Mitch Landrieu responded that evening in a statement that the indictment "is another clear signal that the rules have changed — there are real consequences for violence in our city." He added that since 2012, the MAG Unit has led to 83 indictments in eight gang-related groups responsible for at least 20 murders and dozens of drug- and racketeering-related charges.
The Mother's Day shooting, which harmed 20 people (including Gambit second line correspondent Deborah Cotton) made international headlines and outraged even violence-inured New Orleans.