NOPD: Not sure if nearby shootings are related, and other area police news _lowres

James Hittson

NOPD not sure if shootings are related

New Orleans police are still investigating whether two shooting incidents that occurred within a block of each other this week are connected. The first happened Tuesday night in the 5200 block of Lakeview Court in New Orleans East. The second came Wednesday night in the 5100 block.

“We do not have enough information to confirm whether or not this (second) shooting incident is related to the (Tuesday) shooting in the same area,” NOPD spokesman Tyler Gamble said.

About 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, an argument during a party led to two men being shot multiple times each, police said. The men, both 18, were taken to the hospital.

Then about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, a 40-year-old woman was shot in the hip and Charles Robinson, 42, died from multiple gunshot wounds to the neck and torso, according to police.

Anyone with information is asked to call 7th District detectives at (504) 658-6070 or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.

Man with seven DWIs arrested in Mandeville

An Abita Springs man with seven previous arrests for driving while intoxicated was arrested Tuesday by Mandeville police after he allegedly took an acquaintance’s truck without permission and returned it later with extensive damage, police said.

James T. Hittson, 48, was booked on counts of DWI, hit-and-run, unauthorized use of a movable, simple assault and driving with a suspended license.

When Hittson returned the truck to a female acquaintance and was confronted about the damage, he threatened her and another man, said Lt. Gerald Sticker, of the Mandeville Police Department.

An investigation showed Hittson had hit another car on North Causeway Boulevard and fled the scene without reporting the crash, Sticker said.

Hittson was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail. His record shows seven previous DWI arrests, beginning in 1984 and spanning Tangipahoa, Jefferson and St. Tammany parishes, Sticker said.

Crimestoppers tip leads to arrest of man

New Orleans police and U.S. marshals arrested a man on drug and weapons charges after receiving a Crimestoppers tip.

The tip concerned alleged drug activity at the home of Robbie Ricks, 33, in the 1200 block of Belleville Street in Algiers. Officers raided the home about 8 a.m. Thursday and seized 47 grams of crack cocaine, 13.5 grams of heroin, 32.6 grams of marijuana and $3,800 in cash, according to police.

Detectives had earlier observed what they thought were several hand-to-hand drug transactions.

He was booked on numerous firearms and drug counts.

Ricks is on parole for convictions for armed robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Tammany deputies find missing hunters

St. Tammany Parish sheriff’s deputies took to the skies Wednesday to help find two Franklinton men who had gone missing in the Bogue Chitto National Wildlife Refuge.

Deputies used a helicopter to search for the men after getting a call Tuesday night from the Pearl County, Mississippi, Sheriff’s Office saying the men were missing in the wildlife refuge.

The two men, Timothy Gerald and Tommy Alsobrooks, were hog hunting with a large group and became separated from the group, the St. Tammany Sheriff’s Office said. The pair found their way back to the Bogue Chitto River, where they started a small fire that was spotted from the helicopter.

Deputies in the helicopter were able to direct a boat crew from the Pine Grove, Mississippi, Fire Department to the men’s location. The boat crew took the men back to the boat launch.

Woman’s car stolen in New Orleans East

A 31-year-old woman’s car was stolen Wednesday evening in New Orleans East.

The victim was in her car about 5 p.m. on the North Interstate 10 Service Road between Gannon Road and Bullard Avenue, police said. Two armed men came up to her and demanded she get out of the car. She did, and they fled in the car, which was later found through its GPS locator device.

Six West Bank gang members indicted

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite announced the indictment of six members of a West Bank gang associated with the Harvey Hustlers on charges of violating federal drug and firearm laws. A grand jury returned the indictment against Glen Houston, 22; Savannah Houston, 24; Jarrin Harris, 21; Denver London, 22; Joesia Wilson, 26; and Brittany Conner, 22, all of the Harvey area.

The indictment charges all the defendants with conspiracy to distribute more than 280 grams of crack cocaine, as well as conspiracy to possess firearms in furtherance of drug trafficking. All the defendants are in custody pending trial.

They each face a sentence of 10 years to life and a $10 million fine if convicted of conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine. If convicted of conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, they face a sentence of 20 years to life and a $250,000 fine.

The indictment is a product of an ongoing investigation into drug trafficking by this and other West Bank gangs, Polite said.