A federal judge on Wednesday handed life prison terms and then some to two convicted members of the 8th Ward “Ride or Die” gang, one of whom asked to serve his time not in federal prison but in the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
Deloyd “Puggy” Jones, 24, who already is serving an 80-year state prison sentence for a 2010 shooting that injured two people, “understands the conditions and health care are probably better in federal prison,” said his attorney, Dwight Doskey. Still, Jones wants to remain at Angola to be closer to his family, Doskey said.
Most criminal defendants prefer federal custody. U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan agreed to oblige the unusual request.
A jury last year convicted Jones and fellow gang member Byron “Big Baby” Jones, 25, along with Sidney “Duda Man” Patterson, 24, on federal racketeering, drug and firearms counts, among other charges.
Federal prosecutors said the three men were central figures in a band of drug peddlers who rode roughshod over the St. Roch neighborhood from 2007 until their indictment in 2013. The three men, prosecutors said, were responsible for several murders and additional shootings committed to bolster the gang’s influence.
Byron Jones and Patterson were accused in the Feb. 24, 2010, killing of Travis Arnold, who was shot near Elysian Fields Avenue.
Deloyd Jones was accused of killing Rodney Coleman on Nov. 9, 2010, and then going after the victim’s mother.
Deloyd Jones also killed Devon Hutton on Jan. 17, 2011, and he and Patterson gunned down Corey Blue with the same weapon the next day, prosecutors said. The two men believed Blue had cheated them in a crack deal, prosecutors told the jury at their trial.
Deloyd Jones was convicted on nine of 11 counts he faced, while the jury found Byron Jones guilty on all nine counts he faced from a 20-count indictment in 2013 that named a dozen defendants.
Morgan handed Deloyd Jones and Byron Jones life sentences plus several consecutive decades in prison. Patterson is scheduled to be sentenced in a few days.
In 2007, at the age of 15, Deloyd Jones drew headlines when he and six other juvenile offenders broke out of the city’s Youth Study Center, where he was being held on gun possession charges.
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