Three more defendants are set to plead guilty in the federal gang racketeering case against accused New Orleans crime kingpin Telly Hankton and his alleged partners.
With a trial slated to begin in early June, Derrick Smothers, Terrell Smothers and Troy Hankton all are set to plead guilty this week or next, according to federal court filings.
Another defendant, Nakia Hankton, agreed last week to plead guilty in the 24-count racketeering case.
The expected guilty pleas leave nine defendants to stand trial over an indictment that accuses Telly Hankton and several others of numerous killings and attempts to foil the criminal justice system as part of a Central City drug-dealing operation dating back decades.
Federal prosecutors unfurled the initial indictment against accused members of the Hankton clan — including Telly Hankton’s mother, Shirley — in late 2012.
The indictment describes Nakia Hankton, Derrick Smothers and Terrell Smothers as drug dealers and “mules” for the Hankton organization.
Derrick Smothers also is accused of being a go-between for a hit job that Telly Hankton allegedly ordered from jail on a key eyewitness to the 2008 murder for which Hankton is now serving life in prison.
Troy Hankton, a former LSU football player, is described in the indictment as both a drug dealer and a “gunman for the enterprise.”
Troy Hankton and Nakia Hankton are scheduled to enter their guilty pleas Wednesday. Derrick Smothers and Terrell Smothers are slated to do the same a week later.
The court filings do not specify the charges to which the four men have agreed to plead guilty.
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