Jun 13, 2013 7:01 PM by AP(PHOTO COURTESY: MGN ONLINE)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A grand jury has indicted 20 alleged members of a gang connected to 10 New Orleans killings, authorities said Thursday.
The Times-Picayune reports that nine of the men are accused in the killings, which allegedly arose from efforts by the "3-N-G" gang to protect drug business dating back eight years in the Central City neighborhood.
Victims included toddler Keira Holmes and rapper Renatta "Magnolia Shorty" Lowe.
A news release from the mayor's office says all 20 are charged with racketeering.
City officials say this indictment is the fourth racketeering indictment in three months resulting from the work of the Multi-Agency Gang Unit. Previous indictments involved gangs known as MMG, the 110ers, and the Allen family.
"The lawful people who live in this Sixth District neighborhood were essentially being held hostage in their own homes by this group of offenders who dominated public streets with violence and intimidation," NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas said. "This was an effective, continued team effort that's allowing residents to take their neighborhood back.and we guarantee there will be more to come."
Gang members illegally armed themselves to ward off competitors, feuding with rival gangsters belonging to groups known as the "Front of Town Killers," ''Calliope Projects Front of Town," and "A.D.", the indictment alleged.
The indictment was handed up Wednesday. The District Attorney's Office unsealed it Thursday, when 18 defendants were jailed. Sixteen were under arrest as of Thursday morning and two more were arrested during the day.