Law enforcement, mayor "call in" 23 alleged gang members

NOPD Supt. Ronal Serpas (right) arriving for the call-in.
NOPD Supt. Ronal Serpas (right) arriving for the call-in.
Mayor Landrieu addresses news media following the call-in
Mayor Landrieu addresses news media following the call-in

New Orleans, La. - Mayor Mitch Landrieu and law enforcement officials held a third call-in Tuesday for 23 alleged gang members.

At a press conference following the call-in, Mayor Landrieu said, "If they choose to shoot like the shooter did this weekend, there will be consequences."

FOX 8 received this news release from the Mayor's Office Tuesday afternoon:

Following the City's third "call-in" of individuals involved in group and gang violence today, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and federal, state, and local law enforcement officials will address the media on the front steps of Criminal District Court. The "call-in," in which members of gangs and groups responsible for the majority of violent crime in the city are invited to Court to hear messages from law enforcement and social service providers, comes on the heels of a sweeping fifty-one count racketeering indictment against fifteen defendants of the 110'ers gang in a litany of violent crimes including ten murders.

The indictment last week is believed to be the broadest street gang indictment in the history of New Orleans and follows an intensive investigation by the Multi-Agency Gang (MAG) Unit, which was formed by Mayor Landrieu in 2012 to try and focus additional resources on the groups of individuals who continue to distribute drugs and commit acts of violence in our neighborhoods. The unit and "call-ins" are integral components of the Group Violence Reduction Strategy, a key initiative of Mayor Mitch Landrieu's NOLA FOR LIFE comprehensive murder reduction strategy. The Group Violence Reduction Strategy, pioneered by criminologist David Kennedy, is designed to address the relatively small number of people who are locked in various group dynamics on the streets, and who are responsible for an overwhelming majority of murders.

At a "call-in," gang and group members are offered choices. For those who choose to stop the violence and want support, there is a team providing support services to help them. However, those who continue violence will bring unprecedented attention to their entire group from law enforcement and the MAG Unit. The MAG Unit is conducting several simultaneous investigations on identified groups, which will result in state and federal prosecutions of these groups – thereby removing violent offenders who are responsible for the majority of violence on the streets of New Orleans.

The 110'ers indictment was the second high-profile indictment stemming from the work of the Multi-Agency Gang Unit. Earlier this year, the US Attorney's office obtained a federal indictment against five defendants from the MMG gang in a case investigated by the MAG Unit.

"Our message in this Group Violence Reduction effort is simple-- our community is demanding that the violence stop," said Mayor Landrieu. "The cooperation of federal, state and local law enforcement in this Gang Unit is going to improve our ability to hold these gangs and groups accountable. We are first offering them an opportunity for a way out. But those who don't take it need to know that the rules have changed- we are not going to tolerate the violence in our city."

The agencies that are part of the Multi Agency Gang Unit include the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD), Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office (DA), Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office (OPSO), Louisiana State Police (LSP), Parole Board of the Louisiana Department of Corrections, United States Attorney's Office (USAO), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), United States Marshal's Service (USMS), and United States Probation & Parole Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Social service organizations involved in the effort to provide jobs and education, housing, and mental health & substance abuse support include Total Community Action (TCA) and numerous local non-profits that are funded by the NOLA FOR LIFE fund.

Watch FOX 8 News Tuesday evening for more on this story.