New Orleans Man Responsible for Killing Magnolia Shorty Pleads Guilty to Participating in Several Gang-Related Murders
U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr. announced today that GREGORY STEWART, a/k/a “Rabbit,” 22, a resident of New Orleans, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown, to participating in a wide-ranging heroin conspiracy and several gang-related murders. Specifically, STEWART pled guilty to participating in the murder of Quelton Broussard, a/k/a “Gutter,” on April 12, 2010; the murder of Calvin Celestine, a/k/a “Plucky,” on February 6, 2011; and the murder of Gregory Keys and shooting of Kendrick Smothers on May 24, 2011. All of these murders were committed during the course of and as part of the conspiracy to distribute heroin. STEWART also pled guilty to participating in a conspiracy to use firearms in furtherance of his drug crimes and admitted that the conspiracy to distribute heroin involved 10 to 30 kilograms of heroin.
Court documents reflect that STEWART admitted to being one of the five individuals responsible for the high-profile murders of bounce-rapper Renetta Lowe, a/k/a “Magnolia Shorty” and Jerome Hampton, a/k/a “ManMan,” which occurred on December 20, 2010.
STEWART’s guilty plea to these murders and drug trafficking crimes was the culmination of a multi-year investigation of a heroin trafficking organization and violent gang that operated in an area known as the “G-Strip” in New Orleans. The G-Strip is an area encompassing the 1300 block of Gallier Street in the 9th Ward of New Orleans. Many of the members of the G-Strip were also affiliated with a gang known as the 39ers, an alliance of gang members from 3NG (Third and Galvez) and from the 9th Ward of New Orleans. To date, fifteen individuals related to the G-Strip/39ers organization have pled guilty to federal drug trafficking related offenses. Additionally, numerous members of 3NG/39ers are currently facing racketeering charges as a result of investigations done by the NOPD Multi-Agency Gang Unit (MAG) and the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office.
For each of the murder counts, STEWART faces a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to five years of supervised release. On the drug conspiracy, STEWART faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life imprisonment, a $10,000,000 fine, and at least five years of supervised release. As to the gun conspiracy, STEWART faces a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, and up to five years of supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for October 9, 2014.
“Today’s guilty plea represents another strike against those who terrorize our streets through gun violence and murder,” stated U.S. Attorney Polite. “As we have seen in the investigations that resulted in Mr. Stewart’s plea, a high level of collaboration amongst our local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies is absolutely essential to removing the most violent elements of our community from our streets.”
“This investigation serves as yet another example of law enforcement’s continued momentum in eradicating gang-related violence in the metropolitan New Orleans area,” stated Michael Anderson, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New Orleans Field Division.
The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation Violent Crime Task Force (FBI), which includes the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Sharan Lieberman, Maurice Landrieu, and Matthew Payne.