Grand Jury Returns 31-Count Superseding Indictment, Including RICO Charges, Against Violent YMM Gang
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that a Superseding Indictment was returned today charging members of a violent New Orleans street gang known as “the Young Melph Mafia” or “YMM” with violating federal racketeering statutes and committing five homicides as well as multiple violations of federal drug and firearm laws. The defendants include: JEFFERY WILSON, age 30; LIONEL ALLEN, a/k/a “Lot,” age 21; JAWAN FORTIA, a/k/a “Tittie” and “Wine,” age 22; DEDRICK KEELEN, a/k/a “Roy,” age 22;DELWIN McLAREN, a/k/a “Poo” and “Poo Stupid,” age 22; and BRYAN SCOTT, a/k/a “Killer,” age 21.
Based upon the ongoing investigation, these defendants, most of whom grew up in and around the former Melpomene Housing Development, engaged in high volume street level drug dealing over the course of several years. During the course of this investigation, it was also determined that the defendants connected to the Young Melph Mafia routinely carried firearms to protect themselves while engaged in distributing illegal narcotics.
ALLEN, KEELEN and FORTIA are facing a mandatory life sentence if convicted of committing a murder in furtherance of racketeering activity, in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 1959. Attached is a summary of charges and penalties for all defendants.
U.S. Attorney Polite reiterated that the superseding indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendants must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the New Orleans Police Department as partners in the metro area’s Multi Agency Gang Unit. As an integral component of NOLA FOR LIFE’s Group Violence Reduction Strategy, the Multi-Agency Gang (MAG) Unit consists of a partnership with New Orleans Police Department (NOPD); Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office (DA); Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO); Louisiana State Police (LSP); Parole Board of the Louisiana Department of Corrections; United States Attorney’s Office (USAO); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); United States Marshal’s Service (USMS); and the United States Probation & Parole Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Valuable assistance to the investigation was provided by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air and Marine Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maurice Landrieu, Jr. and Edward Rivera are in charge of the prosecution.