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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

For Immediate Release

January 14, 2009

Jim Letten, United States Attorney

Contact: Kathy English

(504) 680-3068

(504) 589-4978 (fax)

New Orleans Murderer and Drug Dealer Sentenced to Three Terms of Life in Federal Prison

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA — ELDRIDGE SIMPSON, a/k/a “Woozy,“ a 31 year-old New Orleans man, was sentenced in federal court today by U. S. District Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle to spend the rest of his life in federal prison, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten.

A federal jury convicted SIMPSON for the murder of Gerald Babino, as well as several narcotics and firearms offenses. According to the court record, SIMPSON and a co-conspirator, Winston Gilmore, murdered Gerald Babino in a drug related shooting on October 31, 2000 in the 3700 block of Erato Street in New Orleans. In addition, SIMPSON attempted to murder two other individuals on that same date. Further, SIMPSON attempted to murder Warren Bowens on February 6, 1999. In addition to the violent crimes, SIMPSON was convicted for his participation in a long running narcotics trafficking conspiracy and an enterprise engaged in racketeering activity. Finally, SIMPSON was convicted of possessing a firearm after previously being convicted of a felony offense when he shot his live-in girlfriend on January 13, 2002. During the trial, SIMPSON’s co-defendant, Terrance Benjamin, a/k/a T-Man, pled guilty to charges surrounding his role in three (3) drug-related homicides which occurred beginning in 1997 and was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment.

SIMPSON was convicted and sentenced as follows:

  1. Count 1 — Conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine base (crack), cocaine hydrochloride and heroin – life imprisonment;
  2. Count 2 — Enterprise engaged in Racketeering activity – life imprisonment;
  3. Count 3 — the February 6, 1999 assault with a dangerous weapon upon Warren Bowens – 240 months imprisonment;
  4. Count 9 — the October 31, 2000 murder of Gerald Babino – life imprisonment;
  5. Count 10 — the October 31, 2000 attempted murder of Damian Savage and Tyrone Steib – 120 months imprisonment to run consecutively; and
  6. Count 17 — being a felon in possession of a firearm on January 13, 2002 – ten(10) years imprisonment.

SIMPSON, whose sentence marks the conclusion of the federal investigation and prosecution which began in October, 2002, is the last of eleven (11) defendants to be convicted in this long-running narcotics conspiracy and racketeering enterprise. SIMPSON’S co-defendants were sentenced as follows:

  1. Winston Gilmore — life imprisonment;
  2. Terrance Benjamin — life imprisonment;
  3. Louis Gilmore — 25 years imprisonment;
  4. Adam Cobbins — 25 years imprisonment;
  5. Corey Washington — 25 years imprisonment;
  6. Derrick Washington — 20 years imprisonment;
  7. Edward Coleman —10 years imprisonment;
  8. Kedrick Hall — 10 years imprisonment;
  9. Jermaine Robinson — 10 years imprisonment;
  10. Martin Duncan — 90 months imprisonment.

Speaking to today’s sentencing, U. S. Attorney Letten stated:

This conviction and life sentence are the results of the outstanding work of ATF Special Agents. As documented by news organizations back in 2004, this particular cycle of violent crime began long ago in the B.W. Cooper Housing Development. In the 1980’s, the Sam ‘Scully’ Clay drug gang reigned supreme until it was replaced by the Glenn Metz drug gang in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. That gang was replaced by the Richard Pena drug gang during the mid-1990’s, which was replaced by these defendants, commonly referred to as the ‘Cutt Boyz’ until they were arrested and prosecuted. The cycle is now broken. These convictions and sentences have taken violent predators off of our city streets which will help to make our citizens feel safer, and which will reduce such senseless and gratuitous violence.

ATF Special Agent in Charge David Harper added:

ATF and our law enforcement partners are committed to making our streets safer. With every successful investigation and prosecution, we are showing our citizens that when the community and law enforcement work together, we can make a significant impact on reducing violent crime. This successful investigation and prosecution demonstrate that ATF will not cease in our relentless pursuit to put violent offenders behind bars.

This investigation was conducted by Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew Coman, Harry “Bill“ McSherry and Elizabeth Privitera.