Hollygrove gang member sentenced on drug, weapons charges

Hollygrove gang member sentenced on drug, weapons charges

A Hollygrove gang member was sentenced Wednesday on federal drug and weapons charges, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

(WARNING: Video contains explicit language.)

Avian Brule, 21, of New Orleans, was sentenced as a first-time offender by Judge Ivan Lemelle to 50 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release.

Brule was one of seven defendants charged with conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine in the East Hollygrove neighborhood. In addition, all seven defendants were charged with conspiring to possess firearms to further their drug business, and several were charged with committing "substantive acts of violence."

According to court documents and evidence presented at Brule's sentencing, federal agents seized a cell phone from Brule co-defendant William Henderson. After obtaining a search warrant for the phone, agents found a video recorded on Nov. 5, 2012. It shows Henderson and Brule negotiating a heroin sale in a car with a 4-year-old child sitting in the back seat. Photos retrieved from the phone show the same child holding a semi-automatic handgun.

U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite released the following statement.

"Even as a first-time offender, Avian Brule deserved the lengthy jail sentence imposed here," said in a written statement. "He and his East Hollygrove gang members terrorized their own neighborhood through narcotics trafficking and violence. Even worse, Brule and his fellow defendants exposed a 4-year-old boy to their criminal conduct. Being exposed to guns and drugs certainly placed this boy at risk of physical harm. At the same time, it jeopardizes his future, as the misguided lesson learned by him – and other young people in the same predicament – is that this conduct is acceptable, normal, and even encouraged. It certainly is not. We must use all available tools – prevention, intervention and enforcement – to break this cycle of criminality."

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