The “Block Boyz” gang leader and final two defendants have been sentenced to federal prison after court proceedings in Shreveport last week, announced U.S. Attorney David Joseph’s office.
DeMarcus D. Morris, 30, Jimmie R. Durden Jr., 30, and Gary J. McCain, 24, all of Shreveport, were sentenced last week in federal court for being part of a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy, and for drug trafficking and firearms offenses.
“Along with our partners, the FBI has dedicated significant time, manpower, and resources toward investigating the “Block Boyz” gang,” said the FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge Anthony Riedlinger.
“Justice has been served to those who chose to traffic and distribute illicit narcotics and terrorize their communities with senseless firearm violence. We will continue to enforce the laws and intervene when drugs and violence lead to the death of our citizens.”
DeMarcus D. Morris, the ring leader of the “Block Boyz” gang, was sentenced on Aug. 27 by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote, to serve 405 months in federal prison for RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances (including crack cocaine, powder cocaine, Roxicodone and ecstasy), distribution of crack cocaine, and possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
On Aug. 29, Judge Foote sentenced the remaining two defendants, Jimmie R. Durden Jr., and Gary J. McCain, respectively, to 190 months in federal prison and 110 months in federal prison for RICO conspiracy, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances (including crack cocaine), and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Morris, Durden and McCain were named in an 18-count indictment filed in June of 2017 charging nine defendants with various crimes including RICO conspiracy, distributions of controlled substances, convicted felons in possession of firearms, and conspiracies to commit violent crimes. On Oct. 3, 2018, following a two and a half-week trial, Marcus, Durden, and McCain were found guilty along with co-defendants, Lonnie D. Johnson and Larshandra C. Davenport. Defendants, Frank J. Morris, Ravion M. Alford, and Rodrick R. Hicks previously pleaded guilty to the RICO conspiracy and have been sentenced. Defendant, Golanda W. Atkins, was dismissed from the indictment on Sept. 7, 2018.
“We hope that today a measure of peace is felt in the Queensborough neighborhood that this gang terrorized,” said Joseph, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana. “These defendants will be behind bars for years and miles away from the people that they harmed.
“And to those terrorizing their neighborhoods with firearm violence, to those poisoning our community with illegal drugs; make no mistake, we are coming for you,” Joseph continued. “If you don’t make a change in your life, your future — assuming that you aren’t killed by the drugs you sell or the firearms you carry — will be in federal prison. This is not a threat, it’s a promise.
The “Block Boyz” was a criminal enterprise that primarily used the west side of the Queensborough neighborhood as their base of operations. For many years, the defendants took part in a criminal organization known as the “Block Boyz” and the “Get Money Boyz” or “GMB.” In the federal indictment, gang members were charged with at least 66 criminal acts that members of the organization committed to further the RICO conspiracy. The acts included armed robberies, distribution of drugs, shootings and witness intimidation. The organization sold crack cocaine, powder cocaine, Roxicodone, marijuana, Ecstasy and Alprazolam.
Gang members sold illegal drugs and committed armed robberies. They maintained and circulated a collection of firearms for use in their criminal activity and used cell phones to operate their criminal enterprise.
Members of the organization bragged about their illegal activity, such as their possession of firearms, and took pictures of themselves with firearms and money to intimidate others and increase their position in the community.
“Block Boyz” members were also the prime suspects in several homicides.
Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison D. Bushnell and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tennille M. Gilreath prosecuted the case.