Two members of a violent Central City gang were sentenced Wednesday to more than 43 combined years in federal prison after they pleaded guilty to a crack and gun conspiracy that federal prosecutors said dated back to 2007.
U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt sentenced Shawn “Gunner” Gracin, 22, to 221/2 years in prison and handed Alfred Cobbins, 23, a 21-year sentence.
Both men pleaded guilty in December to the main drug and gun conspiracy counts from a 2014 superseding indictment that named 11 alleged members of the Young Melph Mafia, or YMM. The group is named for their turf around the former Melpomene public housing complex.
Both men admitted their roles in a drug-dealing operation supported by street violence against rival gangs that included the St. Thomas-area 110’ers.
Associates of the YMM also were associated with the Allen family, which included Burnell “Baldy” Allen, the father of Briana Allen, a toddler slain by AK-47 fire while attending a birthday party in Central City in 2012.
Three young men, including two 110’ers, were convicted last year in the murders of Briana and 33-year-old Shawanna Pierce, who was driving through the area the same day when a bullet struck her head.
U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite described the guilty pleas as “just another example of how serious the federal government is in helping turn the tide of violence that is occurring in New Orleans.”