Defendants Sentenced After Pleading to RICO Violations, Violations of the Federal Gun Control and Controlled Substances Acts, and Obstruction of Justice
|U.S. Attorney’s Office July 11, 2013|
Travis Hudson, age 29; Roderick Wiggins, age 22; Dante Carson, age 21; Dwight Carson, age 22; Shayne LeBlanc, age 40; and Akai Sullivan, age 27, all from the New Orleans area, were sentenced today before U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk, after pleading guilty to violations of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act, the Violent Crime in Aid of Racketeering Act, the Federal Gun Control and Controlled Substances Acts, aiding and abetting, and obstruction of justice.
Travis Hudson was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment and five years of supervised release. Travis Hudson pled guilty to count one, RICO conspiracy, and count 21, distribution of cocaine base.
Roderick Wiggins was sentenced to 14 years’ imprisonment and five years of supervised release. Roderick Wiggins pled guilty to count one, RICO conspiracy; count two, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute over 280 grams cocaine base; and count five, conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses.
Dante Carson was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment and five years of supervised release. Dante Carson pled guilty to count one RICO, conspiracy; count five, conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug yrafficking offenses; and count 10, aiding and abetting in the unlawful acquisition of a firearm. As part of the RICO conspiracy, Dante Carson admitted that both he and other Murder Squad members participated in the murder Reginald Francois on April 1, 2010. Dante Carson pled guilty pursuant to an 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement.
Dwight Carson was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment and 10 years of supervised release. Dwight Carson pled guilty to count one, RICO conspiracy; count two, conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine base over 280 grams of cocaine base; count five, conspiracy to possess firearms during and in relation to crimes of violence and drug trafficking offenses; and count 11, aiding and abetting in the unlawful acquisition of a firearm. Dwight Carson pled guilty pursuant to an 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement.
Shayne LeBlanc was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release. LeBlanc pled guilty to a one count bill of information with violations of conspiracy to manufacture and possess with the intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base.
Akai Sullivan was sentenced to three years’ probation along with six months’ home detention. Sullivan pled guilty to count six, obstruction of justice.
This case arose out of a joint investigation by FBI, ATF, and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. This investigation targeted an area which exhibited a disproportionate amount of violent crimes and narcotics trafficking. During the course of the investigation, specific individuals were identified as the main perpetrators of many of the violent acts and much of the narcotics distribution. Federal and local law enforcement officers interviewed witnesses and confidential informants, as well as state defendants, relative to the targeted individuals. It was revealed that a group of individuals operated in various areas of Harvey Louisiana, specifically, the neighborhoods known as Scottsdale and Haydel. This group controlled these areas for their narcotics distribution activities through violence and through threats of violence, to include murder, attempted murder, obstruction, and assaults. They were referred to as the Harvey Hustlers and/or Murder Squad.
The Murder Squad, or MS, was a faction of the Harvey Hustlers composed primarily of individuals residing in the Harvey, Louisiana area of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. While they primarily operated on the Westbank of Jefferson Parish, members conducted business in other parts of the Eastern District of Louisiana. The Harvey Hustlers, also referred to as HH, originated in the Harvey area in the mid-1980s. Members of the organization “hustled,” meaning they distributed illegal narcotics. The original goal of the Harvey Hustlers was to make money from sales of illegal narcotics.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Duane A. Evans and Bill McSherry.