SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - More than a year after they were indicted for a series of violent crimes in Shreveport, some members of the Block Boyz gang were found guilty Tuesday.
All five defendants, DeMarcus D. Morris, Jimmie R. Durden Jr., Lonnie D. Johnson, Gary J. McCain and Larshandra C. Davenport, were found guilty on all 19 counts.
The jury found the alleged ringleader, Demarcus Morris, guilty on 7 counts, 3 counts on fellow defendant Jimmie Durden, Jr., 1 count on Lonnie Johnson, 3 counts on Gary McCain, and 5 counts on Larshanda Davenport.
The jury began deliberating the case Tuesday morning after the prosecution and defense rested their cases Monday evening. On the first day of testimony, an FBI analyst explained how authorities were able to connect the defendants to their crimes through their own Facebook posts, including pictures, comments and captions.
Some members of the gang were accused of being involved in shootings, selling drugs, and committing armed robberies from 2012 to 2017 in Shreveport. In 2017, the U.S. Attorney’s Office claimed the gang was responsible for at least 60 crimes over a six-year period.
After a federal grand jury handed down the indictments, three members of the gang pleaded guilty to several charges. Charges were dismissed against one defendant.
In January, Rodrick Hicks pleaded guilty to a federal racketeering charge, meaning he knew and took part in gang-related activity. Court documents also show he admitted to shooting a gun into a car full of people in April, 2016.
Court documents also show Ravion M. Alford pleaded guilty to a federal racketeering charge in December, 2017 while Frank J. Morris pleaded guilty to the same charge in August, 2018.
Hicks and Alford are scheduled to be sentenced October 17 while Morris is scheduled for sentencing January 4, 2019.
Many court observers expected the jury to take longer for a verdict, simply because of all the paperwork involved when it comes to all the charged against the five defendants.
Each face various possible penalties depending on the quantity of the drug allegedly involved, their alleged role in the conspiracy and their criminal history.
Shortly after the verdict was read, a relative of one of the defendants blamed the verdict on media coverage as she left the federal courthouse in downtown Shreveport. " My family didn’t have a fair trial at all. And I don’t feel that it’s right that they didn’t have a fair trial, with ya’ll being the news people, you all done spread it so much over the media. So how could they have a fair trial," says the woman tearing up.
The defendants have 30 days to appeal the verdict, but according to the attorney’s, the clock does not start on that provision until after sentencing.
This is a developing story and KSLA News 12 will update this story as new information comes in.