Harvey Hustlers gang member pleads guilty to racketeering, drug charges _lowres

Nathan Carter

The last indicted member of the Harvey Hustlers street gang to be taken into custody received a 20-year sentence Thursday in state district court in Gretna.

Nathan Carter, 31, pleaded guilty to racketeering and drug charges and confessed to bringing more than 20 kilograms of powdered cocaine from Houston to Jefferson Parish every month in late 2013 and early 2014.

Carter, of Gretna, also signed a statement saying that Alcus Smith, another indicted member of the Harvey Hustlers, told him he killed Dante Hall in November 2013 because he believed Hall had set him up to be ripped off in a drug deal.

Carter surrendered to police Sept. 21 after spending seven months on the run. He was named in a sealed racketeering indictment along with 20 others on Feb. 26.

Carter was one of three members still at large in early March, when Jefferson Sheriff Newell Normand called the Harvey Hustlers “one of the most violent, vile criminal organizations that this organization has dealt with.”

In all, 39 members of the gang have been indicted at the state and federal levels.

The Jefferson Sheriff’s Office’s joint case with the FBI, years in the making, alleges seven people were killed as Harvey Hustlers members ran marijuana, cocaine and heroin into West Jefferson.

Among the victims was 81-year-old Doretha Richardson, killed in February 2013 in Bridge City. Five innocent bystanders were shot in an incident that left a 1-year-old girl paralyzed.

Other charges contained in the indictment included intimidation, illicit weapons, child abuse and attempted murder.

Authorities said that for roughly nine years, the Harvey Hustlers made crack from powdered cocaine and distributed it through a network of gang members from an apartment on Aberdeen Drive.

Hustlers flaunted their “HH” logo on clothing, jewelry and YouTube and formed subgroups called Murder Squad and YBS.

One of the gang’s leaders, Robert “Lil Rob” Williams, was accused of paying to have one rival killed and giving the go-ahead on a second killing, only to have that target escape death by being arrested later that day.

Carter is at least the third gang member to plead guilty in 24th Judicial District Court, following Paul Smith, 25, who got eight years on Sept. 28 for racketeering and conspiracy to distribute cocaine, heroin and oxycodone, and Corey Trent, 26, who got five years on Aug. 17 for cruelty to juveniles.

In federal court, Clifford Sonnier, Frankie Hookfin, Lance Singleton, Ray Woodruff, Harry Smoot, Terrell Wade, Richard Thomas and Isaac Smith have pleaded guilty to reduced charges in exchange for their testimony, getting sentences ranging from 10 years to 45 years plus fines.

Carter acknowledged he was recorded in FBI wiretaps arranging the transportation of six kilos of cocaine from Houston in January 2014 and that he worked with other members of the Harvey Hustlers to sell cocaine for as much as $31,000 per kilo.

Carter has been in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center but will be turned over to the state Department of Corrections.

He was sentenced by 24th Judicial District Judge Henry Sullivan to two concurrent 20-year terms as a multiple offender, having been convicted of possession of cocaine in 2005.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.