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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Eastern District of Louisiana

For Immediate Release

January 29, 2013

Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney

Contact: Anna Cristman
(504) 680-3171

Defendant Pleads Guilty to Violations of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act, the Federal Gun Control and Controlled Substances Acts

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA — MONTERIO WIGGINS, age 21, of Gretna, Louisiana pled guilty in federal court yesterday before U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk to Violations of the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization Act, the Federal Gun Control and Controlled Substances Acts, announced U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente.

WIGGINS pled guilty to Count 1: Conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1962(d); Count 2: Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess with Intent to Distribute over 280 grams of Cocaine Base (crack), in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Sections 841(a)(1), 841(b)(1)(A), and 846; and Count 5: Conspiracy to Possess Firearms, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 924(o). As part of the RICO Conspiracy, WIGGINGS admitted that both he and other Murder Squad members participated in the murder Mr. Reginald Francois on April 1, 2010. Specifically, both Dane Carson and WIGGINS shot Mr. Reginald Francois. WIGGINS pled guilty pursuant to an 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement where he will be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 360 months. The Court may accept or reject the plea agreement.

This case arose out of a joint investigation by ATF, FBI, and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. This investigation targeted an area which exhibited a disproportionate amount of violent crimes and narcotics trafficking. During the course of the investigation, specific individuals were identified as the main perpetrators of many of the violent acts and much of the narcotics distribution. Federal and local law enforcement officers interviewed witnesses, confidential informants, as well as state defendants, relative to the targeted individuals. It was revealed that a group of individuals operated in various areas of Harvey Louisiana, specifically the neighborhoods known as Scottsdale and Haydel. This group controlled these areas for their narcotics distribution activities through violence and through threats of violence, to include murder, attempted murder, obstruction and assaults. They were referred to as the Harvey Hustlers and/or Murder Squad.

The Murder Squad, or MS, was a faction of the Harvey Hustlers composed primarily of individuals residing in the Harvey, Louisiana area of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. While they primarily operated on the Westbank of Jefferson Parish, members conducted business in other parts of the Eastern District of Louisiana. The Harvey Hustlers also referred to as HH originated in the Harvey area in the mid–1980s. Members of the organization hustled meaning they distributed illegal narcotics. The original goal of the Harvey Hustlers was to make money from sales of illegal narcotics.

Sentencing for the named defendants is set for May 2, 2013 before United States District Judge Lance M. Africk.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Duane A. Evans and Bill McSherry.