DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Kenneth A. Polite, Jr.
, United States Attorney
Contact: Anna Christman

YMM Gang Members Sentenced to 21-Plus Years in Prison for Drug and Firearms Violations

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that ALFRED COBBINS, age 23, and SHAWN GRACIN, age 22, both residents of New Orleans, were sentenced today for their participation in a drug conspiracy and a conspiracy to possess and use firearms in connection with the drug trafficking activities of a local gang known as the “Young Melph Mafia” or “YMM.”  

U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt sentenced COBBINS to 252 months (21 years) of imprisonment and GRACIN to 270 months (22.5 years) imprisonment.  Each defendant was also given 5 years of supervised release following their term of incarceration.

COBBINS and GRACIN were originally charged in a five-count Superseding Indictment with nine other YMM members, who frequented the area of the former Melpomene Housing Project. According to the factual basis filed in open court, COBBINS and GRACIN and other YMM members participated in a wide ranging conspiracy to distribute street level quantities of crack cocaine in Central City and participated in several acts of violence against rival gangs, such as the 110ers.  The members of the YMM were associates of the members of the Allen family, who were also indicted and convicted in federal court last year.  Three members of the 110ers gang were convicted on January 29, 2015, in Orleans Parish Criminal Court for the Briana Allen shooting.

“This is just another example of how serious the federal government is in helping turn the tide of violence that is occurring in New Orleans,” stated U.S. Attorney Polite.  “These local gangs have caused serious harm to the neighborhoods of this City, and the federal government will continue to work with local authorities to bring these individuals to justice.”

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in leading this investigation along with members of the NOPD led Multi-Agency Gang Unit (MAG UNIT).  As an integral component of NOLA FOR LIFE’s Group Violence Reduction Strategy, the Multi-Agency Gang (MAG) Unit consists of a partnership with New Orleans Police Department (NOPD); Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office (DA); Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO); Louisiana State Police (LSP); Parole Board of the Louisiana Department of Corrections; United States Attorney’s Office (USAO); Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); United States Marshal’s Service (USMS); and the United States Probation & Parole Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.  Assistant United States Attorneys Edward J. Rivera and Maurice E. Landrieu, Jr. were in charge of the prosecution.


New Orleans Field Division