More racketeering defendants in jail
At least three more suspects tied to a racketeering indictment filed under seal last week in the 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna are behind bars at the Jefferson Parish jail.
Since Friday, authorities have booked Bryant Gumms, 24; Ellis Landix, 29; and Paul Smith, 25, on state racketeering, drug and/or weapons counts. That leaves seven of the 21 indicted not yet in the Jefferson Parish jail.
The New Orleans Advocate is not releasing the names of the suspects who have not yet been booked so as not to jeopardize attempts by authorities to apprehend them, though it’s expected that the indictment will be unsealed when all 21 are in custody.
The 11 who were in custody by the time news of the racketeering indictment circulated on Friday were Kentaz Gayden, 27; Derrick Gumms, 26; Corey Trent, 25; Stephanie Bradley, 43, the lone woman in the indictment; Brandon Motton, 28; Charles D. Gumms, 21; Charlie A. Gumms, 19; Willie Thornton, 30; Lashawn Davis, 31; Davante Robertson, 21; and Rasheed Smith, 24.
The indictment involves men authorities have linked to the notorious Harvey Hustlers drug gang as well as to an April 2013 incident that generated five charges of attempted murder.
Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand will hold a news conference Thursday to discuss “the details of an investigation of a criminal enterprise based on the West Bank ... often referred to as the Harvey Hustlers gang,” a release said.
Though precise details of the racketeering indictment aren’t yet available, in such cases prosecutors group together crimes they allege were committed over a period of time in furtherance of an illegal enterprise, such as drug dealing.
The idea is to give jurors a more complete idea of the defendants’ alleged criminal conduct should the case ever go to trial. It can be harder to paint the bigger picture when charges are tried individually.
—Ramon Antonio Vargas
Teenager robbed after getting off bus
A 14-year-old boy was robbed Tuesday afternoon after he got off a school bus in New Orleans East, police said.
When the boy got off the bus near Dwyer Road and Westlake Drive about 4:30 p.m., a young man in a black SUV with a luggage rack on top and temporary plates got out and knocked the boy to the ground, demanding money, police said. A second young man took out a gun and demanded the boy’s shoes.
The boy was treated at a hospital for a contusion and abrasions to his face.
Seventh District Detectives are in charge of the investigation and can be reached at (504) 658-6070.
Alleged baby tosser faces more counts
Lamar Causey, a 24-year-old Baton Rouge man who Slidell police say threw his 17-month-old daughter to the ground Sunday as he tried to avoid arrest in a shoplifting incident, has been booked on two additional felony shoplifting counts in Slidell.
Slidell police, who initially booked Causey for allegedly stealing more than $1,000 in merchandise from Ulta Beauty in the Fremaux Town Center on Sunday, also linked him to incidents that happened Jan. 21 and Feb. 7 after reviewing surveillance video from the same store.
In all three instances, Causey allegedly stole perfume or cologne, but in the earlier two cases, he got away before police arrived.
In the most recent incident, an employee said he witnessed Causey stealing the merchandise and called police. When two officers tried to stop Causey and talk to him, he tossed his daughter to the ground and fled, police said. He was captured after a chase.
“We are confident that Causey is linked to other shoplifting incidents between here and Baton Rouge,’’ Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith said. “This investigation is still ongoing, and Causey may face additional charges from other agencies.’’
He is being held at the St. Tammany Parish Jail on the original counts: theft of goods over $1,000, cruelty to a juvenile, child desertion, resisting an officer by flight on foot, public intimidation and possession of schedule II drugs. He will be booked on two additional counts of felony theft.
Causey is also wanted in Baton Rouge in a burglary case.
Man robbed in hotel room in N.O. East
A 41-year-old man was robbed at gunpoint in a New Orleans East hotel Tuesday evening, police said.
The victim said he met a woman and brought her to a hotel in the 5800 block of Read Boulevard. About 10:30 p.m., the woman pulled a gun in his hotel room and robbed him.
35-year-old woman raped in Central City
A 35-year-old woman said she was raped by a male acquaintance in Central City early Wednesday, police said.
The victim was assaulted about 2:30 a.m. in the 3800 block of Fourth Street.
ATM stolen from store Wednesday morning
An ATM was stolen Wednesday morning from a business in Gentilly after robbers forced open a door.
The machine was stolen from the Daiquiris & Co. store in the 6300 block of Elysian Fields Avenue about 5 a.m., according to police. Surveillance video shows two men wearing dark clothes placing it in an SUV.