The investigation into a west-Carrollton street gang known as the “Taliban” concluded Thursday with the indictments of eight alleged members, a case that should bring a measure of peace to what was once the most violent edge of Uptown, New Orleans police said.
Three of the gang members are charged with murder, and the others are charged with murder-related crimes or intimidating witnesses, according to police. (Included in their list of crimes is the fatal shooting of Ralph Bias, a passenger in a car on the Pontchartrain Expressway in 2011, according to John Simerman of The Advocate.)
The Taliban’s violence extended throughout the west Carrollton area, so putting them behind bars over the course of the investigation has contributed to the Second District’s 20-percent reduction in violent crime, said District Commander Paul Noel.
“As we were working this case, we were locking them down on other charges,” Noel said, noting that seven members were already in jail when the indictment was announced, and the eighth subsequently surrendered. “What this is going to do is make sure these guys stay in jail.”
The west-Carrollton area where the Taliban allegedly operated is known on NOPD maps as “Zone K,” and Second District commanders have had to assign their task forces to patrols there every week to keep the violence suppressed.
“Zone K has been the most active area historically in the Second District,” Noel said. “That’s no longer the case since we’ve been able to target this group and put them away.”
Noel, Lt. Shaun Ferguson and Second District investigators have been promising residents that they would make a racketeering case against a street gang a top priority all year. Noel said he believes this may be only the second time such a case has been been assembled at the district level, instead of by state or federal investigators. Completing the investigation will increase scrutiny on smaller, neighborhood-level gangs, as well as prepare detectives for any street gangs that seek to take the Taliban’s place.
“This is also going to send a message that we’re not playing around,” Noel said. “We’ve got a blueprint laid out for the next group that pops up. We should be able to sustain this reduction in violence in west Carrollton for a long period of time.”
For more details, see the full news release from the New Orleans Police Department below:
Eight members of a local gang who called themselves “The Taliban/Hotglocks” were indicted yesterday on charges ranging from Public Intimidation to Second Degree Murder.
NOPD’s Second District Officers in conjunction with members of the Multi-Agency Gang (MAG) Unit as well as assistance of the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office recently completed an investigation into the group, which started some 8 months ago. The Multi-Agency Gang (MAG) Unit, a NOLA FOR LIFE initiative formed in the fall of 2012, focuses additional resources on the groups of individuals who continue to commit acts of violence in our neighborhoods.
Evidence collected pointed to some suspects being involved in drug deals, shootings, murders and the intimidation of people who witnessed gang members committing crimes.
Seven of the men indicted were already in custody when the indictments came down yesterday. One suspect, Tyrone Brooks, turned himself in yesterday after learning a warrant had been issued for his arrest.
“The City of New Orleans is focused on keeping our citizens safe, reclaiming our neighborhoods, and offering opportunities to those who want to make better choices,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “These indictments are clear examples of how we are continually and effectively leveraging resources and the expertise of federal, state and local law enforcement to directly respond to those who have chosen a life of crime.”
Superintendent Ronal Serpas said, “These indictments are the result of consistent, concentrated investigation by Second District officers as well as the invaluable help provided by members of the MAG Unit and the Orleans DA’s Office. The results of this collaborative effort could ensure that these violent suspects spend many more years in prison, and off the streets of New Orleans.”
Those indicted are as follows:
- Jamal “Mall” Harris, 26, charged yesterday with Racketeering, 2nd Degree Murder, 2 counts of Attempted 2nd Degree Murder and Public Intimidation. Harris is considered as a possible career criminal with 7 felony arrests and 10 misdemeanor arrests. He was on probation for Possession of Heroin and Attempted Distribution of Cocaine from November 2007 until November 2012. Harris has prior arrests for First Degree Murder, Felon with a Firearm, Illegal Carrying Weapons, Resisting/Obstructing an Officer, Possession of Marijuana, Public Intoxication, Crack Possession, Looting, Disturbing the Peace, Criminal Trespass, warrants and traffic violations.
- Tyrone “Tyga” Davenport, 24, charged yesterday with Racketeering, Attempted 2nd Degree murder, Public Intimidation and 2nd Degree Murder. Davenport has 3 felony arrests and 7 misdemeanor arrests. Previous arrests include First Degree Murder, Resisting an Officer, Firearm in a Free Zone, Concealed Weapon, Crack Possession, Possession of Marijuana, Disturbing the Peace, Criminal Trespass, Obstructing a Public Place, an attachment, a warrant and traffic violations.
- Dale “Checkpoint” Elmore, 22, charged yesterday with Racketeering, Public Intimidation, 2nd Degree Murder, Attempted 2nd Degree Murder, Possession of a Firearm with Narcotics. Elmore has 2 felony arrests. Previous arrests include First Degree Murder, Attempted First Degree Murder, and Crack Possession.
- Darryl “Dino” Bannister, 27, charged yesterday with Racketeering, 2 counts of Attempted 2nd Degree Murder and Public Intimidation. Bannister has 2 felony arrests, 3 misdemeanor arrests and 2 traffic arrests. Previous arrests include two counts of Attempted Second Degree Murder, Illegal Firearms during a Crime, Criminal Trespass, Intimidation of Witness, Possession of Narcotics, Possession of Marijuana, and traffic violations.
- Cornie “Porch” Jones, 24, charged yesterday with Racketeering, 2 counts of Attempted 2nd Degree Murder, Public Intimidation and Felon with a Firearm. Jones was previously arrested for Attempted First Degree Murder, Attempted Second Degree Murder, Intimidation of a Witness, Felon with a Firearm, Illegal Firearm During a Crime, Possession of Marijuana, Burglary, Carnal Knowledge of a Juvenile, Flight from a Police Officer, Trespassing, Warrants and Disturbing the Peace.
- Sevuntray “Brotha” Noel, 24, charged yesterday with Racketeering, Public Intimidation and Accessory to 2nd Degree Murder. Noel was previously arrested for First Degree Murder, Illegal Carrying of a Weapon, Possession of Marijuana, Disturbing the Peace, trespassing, Resisting and Obstructing and Lewd Conduct.
- Jerome “Sookie” Tolliver, 21, charged yesterday with Racketeering, 2 counts of Attempted 2nd Degree Murder and Public Intimidation. Tolliver was previously arrested for Attempted Second degree Murder, Intimidation of a Witness, Possession of a Weapon, Illegal Firearm During a Crime, Crack and Marijuana Possession, unauthorized use of a Moveable, Flight from a Police Officer, Warrants and Traffic.
- Tyrone “Burga” Brooks, 27, charged yesterday with Racketeering and Public Intimidation. Brooks was previously arrested for Possession of Crack and Marijuana, Obstruction of a Public Place, Flight and Resisting a Police Officer, Gambling, Traffic and Warrants.
Since inception, the MAG unit has indicted a total of five gangs; four in 2013. Indictments during the last six months include the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s indictment of the 110’ers gang in a litany of violent crimes, including 10 murders and a 30 count racketeering indictment against 20 defendants of the 3-N-G gang who are responsible for at least 10 murders from October of 2008 to February 2013; the Federal 16-count drug indictment against seven members of the Allen family and the indictment of five alleged members of a 7th Ward gang by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiring to deal crack cocaine and illegally possess guns.