Home New Orleans Press Releases 2013 Gang Indictment Unsealed Charges Seven Defendants from the East Hollygrove Neighborhood with Federal Murder, Drug,...

Gang Indictment Unsealed Charges Seven Defendants from the East Hollygrove Neighborhood with Federal Murder, Drug, and Firearms Violations

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 10, 2013
  • Eastern District of Louisiana (504) 680-3000

Yesterday, the United States Attorney’s Office unsealed another gang indictment, which was returned by the federal grand jury on Friday October 4, 2013, and placed under seal. This second superseding indictment charges seven members of the East Hollygrove neighborhood with 25 counts of violations of the Federal Controlled Substances Act, the Federal Gun Control Act, and murder, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr.

CHARLES JOHNSON, aka “Chuck”, 25; ROBERT JOHNSON, aka “Skinny," 24; THOMAS HENDERSON, aka “T," 24; LAVELL STOVAL, aka “Vell," 21; WILLIAM HENDERSON, aka “Will," 20; ERSKINE WATERS, 22; and AVIAN BRULE, aka “Ave," 20, all from New Orleans, were charged in this case. All the defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and a quantity of cocaine base. Each defendant faces a minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison, a fine of not more than $10,000,000, and a minimum of five years of supervised release.

All the defendants are also charged with using firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking crimes. Each faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release.

In addition to the first two charges, the following defendants face additional charges outlined below:

CHARLES JOHNSON is charged in count three with participating in the murder of Ms. Eula Mae Ivey on June 14, 2010, as a result of a drive-by shooting. Three other gang members have already pled guilty to participating in this murder in federal court. If convicted of this count, CHARLES JOHNSON faces a sentence of up to life in prison or the death penalty. CHARLES JOHNSON is also charged in counts six, 10, and 11 with distribution of heroin. He faces a sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, $1,000,000 fine, and at least three years of supervised release for each of these counts. Additionally, CHARLES JOHNSON is charged in count seven with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime for which he faces a minimum sentence of five years to a maximum of life imprisonment, $250,000, and five years of supervised release. Finally, he is charged in count eight with being a felon in possession of a firearm for which he faces not more than 10 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, and three years of supervised release.

THOMAS HENDERSON is charged in count four with possession with the intent to distribute 28 grams or more of cocaine base. If convicted he faces a minimum of five years to a maximum of 40 years in prison, $5,000,000 and at least four years of supervised release. HENDERSON is also charged in counts 17, 18, 19, and 20 with distribution of heroin. For each count he faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, $1,000,000 fine, and at least three years of supervised release.

LAVELL STOVAL is charged in count five with distribution of heroin for which he faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, $1,000,000 fine, and at least three years of supervised release.

WILLIAM HENDERSON is also charged in counts 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, and 24 with distribution and possession with the intent to distribute heroin. He faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, $1,000,000 fine, and at least three years of supervised release, as to each count. He is also charged in count 25 with possession of a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities for which he faces a minimum sentence of five years to a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, $250,000 fine, and five years of supervised release.

ERSKIN WATERS is charged in count nine with possession with the intent to distribute heroin. He faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, $1,000,000 fine, and at least three years of supervised release.

AVIAN BRULE is charged in counts 12 and 24 with distribution and possession with the intent to distribute heroin and faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, $1,000,000 fine, and at least three years of supervised release, for each count. BRULE is also charged in count 25 with possession of a firearm in furtherance of his drug trafficking activities for which he faces a minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, $250,000, and five years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr. noted that this was yet another example of how the federal effort is helping to attack and address the tide of violence that is occurring in New Orleans. Special agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been working on this case for several months as part of the NOPD led Multi-Agency Gang Unit (MAG UNIT) and have been steadfast in their resolve to bring these gang members justice.

This is just the latest in a series of gang related cases that the MAG UNIT has investigated over the past year. This unit is focused on identifying and removing violent gangs from our neighborhoods. U.S. Attorney Polite wanted to personally thank the men and women of this special unit for their hard work and success.

U.S. Attorney Polite reiterated that the second superseding indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

This investigation was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigations as part of the MAG Unit and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Maurice E. Landrieu, Jr.

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