Ex-cop pleads guilty to Road Home theft
Tracie Medus, 39, a former New Orleans police officer, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to theft of government funds.
Medus admitted that she defrauded the federally funded Small Rental Property Program, a Louisiana Road Home program designed to let low-income families displaced by Hurricane Katrina return to Louisiana.
The program provided money for landlords to repair units to be rented at specified rates to approved low-income tenants. Road Home required that tenants be approved for income eligibility and to reside in units prior to landlords receiving funds.
Medus obtained preliminary approval for an award by claiming that two low-income individuals were residing in her rental property and that they were paying low, Road Home-authorized rents. She submitted a purported lease for each tenant. In fact, she was charging her tenants higher, unauthorized rents, and one of the leases falsely listed an approved low-income tenant when in fact a different person was living in the unit.
Based on her misrepresentations, Road Home issued Medus $158,700.
Medus was suspended as a New Orleans Police Department officer upon being charged and resigned prior to pleading guilty.
She faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to twice the theft amount. Sentencing is scheduled for April 30.
Car leaves scene after hitting another
An unknown dark-colored vehicle was backing down the 6100 block of Craigie Road in New Orleans East about 11:20 p.m. Friday when it hit a parked car, New Orleans police said.
The driver then backed out of the area and drove away without seeking the owner of the car that was hit.
Police said the vehicle at fault should have significant damage to the driver’s side.
Seventh District Detective Donald Sharp is in charge of the investigation and can be reached at (504) 658-6070.
Man robbed Saturday near bar in Mid-City
About 3 a.m. Saturday, a 35-year-old man was robbed by three men, one of them armed with a gun, soon after he left a bar near the 300 block of South Salcedo Street in Mid-City.
He gave the men what he had, and they fled.
Man robbed, car stolen by West End house
A 33-year-old man who lives in the 6100 block of Bellaire Drive in West End was outside his house about 4:30 a.m. Saturday when a gunman demanded his property, New Orleans police said.
The resident complied, and the robber fled in the victim’s vehicle.
Man sought in theft of cemetery equipment
The NOPD is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a man wanted in connection with an equipment theft that occurred Thursday at Lake Lawn Cemetery, 5454 Pontchartrain Blvd.
The man pried open an interior storage closet about 12:50 p.m. and stole two floor buffers valued at more than $2,500. He apparently had keys to the exterior doors because there were no signs of forced entry.
The incident was captured on video and can be viewed at http://youtu.be/IIy5PTdwxYc.
Anyone with information on the theft is asked to contact 3rd District Detective Lashawn Johnson at (504) 658-6030 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.
N.O. couple indicted in drug trafficking case
Gross Williams, 49, and his wife, Kathleen Williams, 46, both of New Orleans, were charged Thursday in a five-count indictment for violations of the Federal Controlled Substances Act, the Federal Gun Control Act, conspiracy to launder money and obstruction of justice.
According to the indictment, Gross Williams possessed and distributed one kilogram or more of heroin and five or more kilograms of cocaine. He is also alleged to have possessed a firearm in furtherance of drug-trafficking crimes and to have illegally possessed a weapon after a felony conviction.
Both he and his wife were also charged with conspiring to launder the proceeds of the drug trafficking, and Kathleen Williams was charged with obstruction of justice for destroying a cellphone.
If convicted, Gross Williams faces from 15 years to life in prison and a fine of up to $10 million. Kathleen Williams faces a maximum of 40 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.