The ringleader of a 7th Ward street gang blamed for a litany of violence in recent years — including the notorious Mother’s Day second-line parade shooting that wounded 20 people — pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal charges that will require he spend at least 20 years behind bars.
Travis Scott, 31, admitted his role in a wide-ranging racketeering conspiracy in which he and fellow “FnD” gang members committed frequent gun assaults as they expanded their foothold in the city’s heroin and crack cocaine distribution markets.
The clan derived its name from the area around Frenchmen and Derbigny streets — its bullet-ridden stomping grounds — where the gang for years sold drugs out of the Frenchmen Meat Market. Its turf eventually expanded to include a broader territory that stretched from North Claiborne Avenue to North Johnson Street.
Scott, in pleading guilty, “admitted that no other individuals could sell drugs in this area without his permission, and he would direct FnD members to commit crimes of violence against rival gang members in order to preserve FnD’s control over the neighborhood,” U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite said in a news release.
Scott, the last of nine defendants in the case to plead guilty, faces up to life in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 3 by U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle.
Last month, three brothers of Scott — Akein “Keemy” Scott, 22; Shawn “Shizzle” Scott, 26; and Stanley “Stizzle” Scott, 23 — pleaded guilty in similar fashion, each admitting to committing shootings on behalf of the FnD.
The Mother’s Day shooting unfolded in May 2013 as part of what the authorities described as an intensifying drug feud. According to prosecutors, Akein and Shawn Scott intended to kill a member of a rival gang, shooting him five times.
Nineteen other people were struck by gunfire — at least four required multiple surgeries — and a 20th victim was trampled as paradegoers fled in panic. The attack, which generated national headlines, was captured on surveillance video.
Prosecutors said Akein Scott attended a barbecue shortly after the shooting and was overheard complaining to someone on the phone that his brother Shawn “keeps falling down when he shoots.”
The ringleader, Travis Scott, had moved to Kansas City several months before the Mother’s Day shooting, apparently because his wife had become increasingly concerned about the family’s safety. According to prosecutors, however, Travis Scott returned to New Orleans on a monthly basis “in order to sell heroin at the Frenchmen Meat Market.”
Surveillance video recovered from the convenience store showed him conducting some two dozen drug deals a day during a four-day stretch in August 2013. The footage also shows him using a “Hide a Key magnetic box” to stash drugs underneath shelves in the store.
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