Willie Thornton, 31, of Harvey; Ellis Landix, 30, of Marrero; and Kietrel Gumms, 25, of Harvey, all pleaded guilty to racketeering and drug crimes for their involvement with the group, which sprang from the Scottsdale neighborhood of Harvey.
Federal and local law enforcement agencies have targeted the group, which they claim sold cocaine, heroin and marijuana on the streets of Harvey and other West Jefferson communities for about a decade.
Plagued by infighting in recent years, the group has been linked to seven killings and spawned subgroups known as the “Murder Squad” and “YBS.”
Last year, 21 accused members were indicted in state court, with another 18 indicted in federal court.
Thornton, who was set to go to trial this week, pleaded guilty to racketeering and drug charges and was sentenced as a two-time offender to 20 years in prison by Judge Henry Sullivan, of 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna.
Landix also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and will be sentenced at a later date as a multiple offender, according court documents.
Gumms’ plea agreement on six racketeering and drug charges is under seal. He will be sentenced in February.
A fourth defendant, Rasheed Smith, 25, was sentenced to 20 years in prison last week as a third-time offender after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine.
The four guilty pleas follow those of another seven men and one woman affiliated with the gang who received sentences ranging from eight to 20 years. Many have agreed to testify against other gang members.
In November, District Attorney Paul Connick’s office notched two convictions in its case against Robert “Lil Rob” Williams, the accused leader of the Harvey Hustlers, and Alcus Smith, accused of bringing large quantities of cocaine to the West Bank from Houston.
Eight other gang members charged in the state indictment await prosecution.
Of the 18 defendants indicted by federal prosecutors, 11 have entered into plea agreements, though one has asked to withdraw his plea.
In a racketeering case, 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 go to trial. Prosecutors say it can be hard to paint the bigger picture when charges are tried individually.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.