NEW ORLEANS – On November 4, four alleged members of New Orleans’ “Byrd Gang” were indicted for violation of the Louisiana Racketeering Act and other crimes related to their operation of a violent narcotics trafficking enterprise based in Central City.
An Orleans Parish special grand jury handed up a 16-count indictment, charging Tyrone “Six” Bovia, Chance “Doona” Skipper and James “Poo” Alexander, as well as Randy “Tokey Hefner” Calvin , with racketeering, which is punishable in Louisiana by a prison sentence of up to 50 years. Announcement of the indictment was delayed to give law enforcement officers a reduced-risk opportunity to arrest the suspects. As of Monday morning, only Calvin remains at large.
“This indictment is the culmination of another extensive effort to investigate and bring to justice the dangerous individuals responsible for some of the most serious gang violence in our city,” Cannizzaro said. “As our long track record of successful gang prosecutions shows, we will continue our efforts to stamp out the drug-trafficking groups bringing gun violence to the streets of New Orleans, because the residents of the neighborhoods they plague deserve to live safely and in peace.”
The indictment details more than 30 overt acts committed by some or all of the defendants in furtherance of their criminal enterprise. Many of the acts involved gun violence directed toward members of the rival “Calliope Ghost Gang.” Among the most notable was the afternoon shootout between rival gang members in a shopping district along the 1900 block of Magazine Street that left two gang rivals and an innocent bystander a half-block away wounded by gunfire on Aug. 25, 2017.
The indictment charges the individual defendants thusly:
Bovia, 23 (9 counts): Racketeering; the unlawful killing of Terrance Augustine (a Byrd Gang ally killed in a gunfight); conspiracy to commit second-degree murder; two counts of attempted second-degree murder; illegal discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence; conspiracy to obstruct justice; obstruction of justice in a homicide investigation; possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance.
Calvin, 28, and Skipper, 23 (5 counts each): Racketeering; conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin; conspiracy to obstruct justice; obstruction of justice in a homicide investigation; accessory after the fact to attempted second-degree murder.
Alexander, 27 (15 counts): Racketeering; the unlawful killing of Terrance Augustine (a Byrd Gang ally killed in a gunfight); conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute heroin; conspiracy to commit second-degree murder; four counts of attempted second-degree murder; two counts of illegally discharging a firearm during a crime of violence; two counts of conspiracy to obstruct justice; two counts of obstruction of justice in a homicide investigation; accessory after the fact to attempted second-degree murder.
Bond was set at $1.9 million for Alexander, $1.3 million for Bovia and $500,000 each for Skipper and Calvin. Alexander, Bovia and Skipper are scheduled to appear for arraignment Tuesday (Nov. 5) before Criminal District Judge Camille Buras. Calvin’s arraignment was set for Nov. 20.
The indictment, including the detailed list of overt acts, can be viewed here.
Assistant District Attorneys Alex Calenda and Irena Zajickova presented the case to the grand jury.