A New Orleans man alleged to be part of the violent Frenchmen-Derbigny street gang implicated in last year’s Mother’s Day shooting has pleaded guilty to a federal gun charge.
Richmond Smith, 25, pleaded guilty this week to one count of using a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, according to court records.
Smith has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors as part of the deal.
Smith was one of nine people indicted in February on federal drug and gun charges. None of the other defendants has pleaded guilty.
Prosecutors alleged the defendants sold cocaine and heroin out of a 7th Ward meat market and enforced their control of their territory with a cache of weapons they often stored in nearby abandoned buildings.
Two of those indicted, Akein and Shawn Scott, were allegedly trying to snuff out a rival gang member when they opened fire on a 2013 Mother’s Day second-line parade, injuring 19 people.
The “factual basis” of the plea agreement reveals additional details of the gang’s operation.
According to the document, Smith sold heroin three to four days a week between 2007 and 2009 out of the Frenchmen Meat Market in the 1700 block of Frenchmen Street.
He was arrested in possession of cocaine and marijuana in 2009 after officers said they saw him toss away a gun while fleeing.
Smith was convicted for possessing a gun with a controlled dangerous substance and spent five years in prison.
Once released, he allegedly went right back to work for Travis Scott, the leader of the gang.
According to court documents, Travis Scott “became the primary distributor of heroin in the (Frenchmen-Derbigny) organization’s territory” between 2005 and 2014.
The gang’s turf was bounded by Elysian Fields Avenue, North Johnson Street, Interstate 10, St. Anthony Street and North Claiborne Avenue.
Travis Scott called it his “million dollar block.”
During that time, the gang allegedly sold more than a kilogram of heroin and more than 280 grams of crack.
As a result of the deal, prosecutors agreed to drop the remaining charges against Smith, who was facing a possible life sentence.
The maximum sentence for the gun charge to which Smith pleaded guilty to is 20 years. He will be sentenced Dec. 3.