A federal judge handed stiff prison sentences Tuesday to four brothers who admitted to criminal roles with the “Frenchmen and Derbigny” drug gang, including two siblings who sprayed gunfire into a Mother’s Day second-line parade in 2013, leaving 19 people shot and a 20th trampled.
U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle sentenced Travis “Trap” Scott, 31, and Akein “Keemy” Scott, 22, to life sentences plus 10 years. Shawn “Shizzle” Scott, 27, and Stanley “Stizzle” Scott, 24, each received 40-year sentences, according to U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite’s office.
Akein and Shawn Scott both admitted in September to firing guns during the parade, aiming to take down an associate of a rival group, the Prieur Columbus Boys, according to the factual basis underpinning their guilty pleas.
Akein Scott was “apparently lying in wait” as the parade rolled past. He reached under his shirt for a gun and fired into the crowd. His target, identified only as “J.T.,” suffered five bullet wounds.
No one was killed in the melee.
Witnesses said Akein Scott went to a barbecue afterward.
“While at the barbecue, witnesses overheard Akein Scott talking on a cellphone and saying, ‘Shawn’s stupid ass keeps falling down when he shoots,’ ” the factual basis states.
Police and agents with the U.S. Marshals Service arrested the two brothers separately in New Orleans East the following week.
Prosecutors described Travis Scott as the ringleader of the 7th Ward “FnD” gang, which dealt heroin and crack cocaine from a convenience store near the corner of Frenchmen and North Derbigny streets.
A 24-count superseding indictment issued in late 2014 named the men in numerous attempted murders over six years, including “no fewer than five shootings that were committed by more than one of the Scott brothers,” according to federal prosecutors. None of those shootings resulted in a death.
The four brothers each pleaded guilty to multiple counts in the indictment, including the main racketeering charge.
Travis Scott was the last defendant to plead guilty as a result of a wide-ranging indictment that once named nine defendants.
He admitted in October to his leadership role in a conspiracy in which he and fellow members of the FnD syndicate committed frequent gun assaults as they sought to expand their foothold on heroin and crack dealing in the area.
Travis Scott was living in Missouri at the time of the Mother’s Day shooting spree, when gunfire tore up the Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club event as it passed Frenchmen and North Villere streets. However, he admitted that after the melee, he “sought to intimidate witnesses who he thought were cooperating with police.”
In an appeal for leniency, attorney Patrick McGinity described Travis Scott as one of 11 children born to a drug-addicted mother who abandoned them.
He was schooled by a drug-dealing cousin, became addicted to drugs and alcohol starting at age 12 and even stole from his grandmother to feed his habit, McGinity wrote in a memo last week to the judge.
“Travis worked sporadically for an uncle performing carpentry tasks and odd jobs. But the easy money and the seeming normalcy of the drug trade as a way of life was too powerful,” McGinity wrote. “That is, until Travis had his own son and met his future wife and her son.”
They moved to Missouri in 2012, but his arrest in October 2013 ended that new life. McGinity said his client objected to being labeled as the group’s leader, saying the brothers’ “federation was predicated on family ties, with everyone acting independent of each with their own (objectives) and individual income goals.”
He described his client as “a thoughtful and intelligent young man. But for the circumstances of his birth he would surely have been a successful law-abiding citizen and father to his sons.”
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