U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Louisiana
(504) 680-3000
September 22, 2015

Westbank Drug Dealers Plead Guilty and Admit Role in Two Murders

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that RAY WOODRUFF, age 21, and FRANKIE HOOKFIN, age 24, both of Waggaman, pled guilty today to conspiring to distribute a kilogram or more of heroin and 280 grams or more of crack cocaine and to murdering a man to further their group’s drug trafficking activities.

WOODRUFF and HOOKFIN each pled guilty to two counts of the Superseding Indictment, which charged twelve defendants with drug trafficking, a variety of weapons offenses, and six shootings resulting the death of four people and the injury of two others. Count 1 charged WOODRUFF and HOOKFINwith conspiring to distribute a kilogram or more of heroin and 280 grams or more of crack cocaine, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of at least ten years up to life in prison. WOODRUFF andHOOKFIN also pled guilty to Count 12, charging them and two others with causing the death of a man through the use of firearms, which is punishable by any term of years up to life in prison. U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk set sentencing on December 10, 2015.

“Violent offenders have no place on our streets,” stated U.S. Attorney Polite. “If you terrorize our communities through drug trafficking and gun violence, just as these defendants did, then you risk being in jail for the rest of your life.”

According to court documents, WOODRUFF and HOOKFIN were part of a drug trafficking organization that moved significant quantities of heroin and cocaine base on the West Bank. Beginning in 2012, the group engage in a series of violent acts, beginning with a drive by shooting into a another vehicle where the driver and his front seat passenger were shot with an AK-47 while two young children, who were not hit, were in the back seat. The group is alleged to have participated in five additional shootings, two of which ended in death. WOODRUFF and HOOKFIN pled guilty to the murder of Emeal Washington and admitted to their participation in the murder of Doreatha Richardson, in addition to two other shootings. In addition to the shootings, members of the group are charged with weapon and drug conspiracies, in addition to several substantive distribution counts.

HARRY SMOOT, ISAAC SMITH, RICHARD THOMAS, TERRELL WADE, LANCE SINGLETON, and CHRISTOPHER BROWN have previously pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing.TERRENCE KELLEYandCLIFFORD SONNIERare scheduled for trial on September 28, 2015. JOEQUELL LEWIS and ANDRE ADDISON are scheduled for trial on October 26, 2015.

The Superseding Indictment is a product of an ongoing investigation into the violent acts in furtherance of the drug trafficking by the Harvey Hustler gang and its various offshoots on the West Bank. It represents the continued coordinated effort of the federal and state law enforcement authorities within the Multi-Agency Gang (“MAG”), including the United States Attorney’s Office, the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office, Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and officers of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Assistant United States Attorneys Greg Kennedy, David Haller, and Myles Ranier and Special Assistant United States Attorney Collin Sims, who is a former Assistant United States Attorney and the Criminal Chief at the St. Tammany Parish District Attorney’s Office, are in charge of the prosecution.

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