Big Money Block Boyz gang case to again go before appellate court in Baton Rouge _lowres

Advocate Staff Photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Members of the "Big Money Block Boyz" are led from a staging area to a transport bus at the Louisiana State Police Headquarters in April 2014. A multi-agency operation early morning "round-up" operation netted 24 arrests. The "Big Money Block Boyz" are a criminal organization based out of the Gardere area.

An alleged member of the violent Gardere-area "Big Money Block Boyz" street gang has been sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison on gun and drug conspiracy charges.

Davontay "Kin Folks" Ricks, 26, of Baton Rouge, was free on bail on state charges of attempted murder, conspiracy and drugs in November 2016 when police responded to a shooting and found stolen guns, cocaine, marijuana and a digital scale inside a Mariner Drive apartment in Gardere.

Ricks and three other alleged Block Boyz members — John Goza III, Timothy Prater and Kydris Womack, all of Baton Rouge — were charged with federal crimes in that incident.

Ricks pleaded guilty in August to federal gun and drug conspiracy charges and was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick to 105 months in prison. Prater also has pleaded guilty but has not been sentenced.

Ricks, Goza, Prater and Womack also were among 19 alleged Block Boyz members or associates indicted by an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury in 2014 on charges ranging from gun and drug counts to conspiracy and attempted murder.

A number of those 19 defendants have pleaded guilty, including Womack and Christopher "Big Money" Finister, of St. Gabriel, the reputed leader of the gang. Finister was sentenced to 25 years in prison on murder conspiracy and drug charges, and Womack received a 20-year sentence for murder conspiracy and weapons charges.

Ricks, Goza and Prater are the only remaining defendants from the 2014 indictment. Charges against a half-dozen of the original defendants were dismissed. Prosecutors have said the indictment effectively dismantled the gang.

Follow Joe Gyan Jr. on Twitter, @JoeGyanJr.