“We demand respect. Either you roll with us, or you get rolled over,” said 3NG gang enforcer Washington “Big Wash” McCaskill on the stand. “You see me, you acknowledge me, or stay out of my way.” He said these words as one of the many convicted 3NG soldiers to testify against the gang’s alleged leader, Kentrell “Black” Hickerson, in an effort to get years knocked off of his 80 year prison sentence. Last week, after two weeks of testimony in the heavily secured court, Hickerson’s was convicted on counts of racketeering and conspiracy to distribute heroin in furtherance of gang activity. Included in the racketeering charge are the murders of Durrell “Duke” Pooler in October 2008 and Omar Breaux, which occurred five months later.
Criminal District Court Judge Camille Buras set a June 16 sentencing date for Hickerson, the lone defendant to stand trial among 20 men named in a sweeping indictment in 2013 that alleged 10 murders and numerous other shootings and drug crimes committed to empower the “3NG” gang.
The gang, named for its stomping grounds at Third and Galvez streets, sought control of the heroin and crack trade in a swath of Central City while meting out violence against members of rival gangs in the former Calliope housing complex and elsewhere, according to the 30-count indictment.
Among the unintended 3NG murder victims was Keira Holmes, a toddler who was killed by gunfire in 2010 on the grounds of the then-named B.W. Cooper projects. Another was N.O. rapper Renetta “Magnolia Shorty” Lowe, who was killed in December 2010. Members of 3NG admitted that Lowe’s death was “collateral damage” in an attack on rival gangster, Jerome “Man Man” Hampton. Lowe and Hampton were fired upon with 50 bullets as they sat in a car in New Orleans East. 3NG associate Rico “Freaky” Jackson confessed to being one of four gunmen in the shooting and testified that Hampton made threats towards him. According to the prosecution, Hampton’s slaying “could be traced to a series of retaliatory shootings sparked by the murder of famous local rapper James Tapp, better known as ‘Soulja Slim,’ in 2003.”
According to McCaskill, Hickerson assumed the top rank of 3NG after killing “a feared force in the B.W. Cooper neighborhood” named Alexis “Slam” Williams in 2002. Hickerson was previously acquitted in 2012 for the 2008 murder of Alvin Williams on 3NG turf (a witness switched up his/her story). That case was brought back up during Hickerson’s racketeering trial.
As a multi-felony offender, Hickerson is looking at a potential 100 years behind bars on the racketeering charge alone. The 19 other 3NG members included in the indictment all pleaded guilty.