Shreveport councilwoman comments on federal gang-related indictments

“I think closure comes when we know the entire process is complete”
Published: Jul. 21, 2023 at 12:12 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Just days ago, 24 people were indicted on charges that they illegally obtained money through the federal Paycheck Protection Program or PPP loan in order to buy illegal and legal guns.

Today, KSLA’s Domonique Benn says, city leaders feel it’s a step in the right direction to make this city safer.

[RELATED: 24 people ‘closely affiliated’ with Shreveport gang indicted on CARES Act fraud; 1 suspect considered fugitive]

“What I am asking is for every law enforcement entity from sheriff to whomever to make sure you work with city of Shreveport SPD to find who did this.”

That was Councilwoman Tabatha Taylor the morning after the Fourth of July mass shooting on Cooper Road that left four dead and dozens injured.

She demanded action.

And nearly two weeks later, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana revealed that members from one of the most notorious gangs in Shreveport have been indicted.

“These TFOS working over the last two years. They have identified other street gangs who have terrorized not only Shreveport proper but other areas of Northwest Louisiana,” U.S. Attorney Brandon Brown said.

“I am happy about the indictments the U.S. Attorney’s Office is bringing,” Taylor said. “It is bringing an extra level of relief for those impacted by those crimes and bringing a level of closure to those families that are affected.”

On Tuesday, 24 people allegedly closely affiliated with the CARES Act fraud were indicted. One suspect, Rodriguez Henry, is considered a fugitive.

“One of these gangs is known as Step or Die, or SOD,” Brown said. “Gangs like SOD are getting slightly more sophisticated. And PPP birthed new ways to buy firearms and conduct other illicit activity.”

Brown hasn’t said whether any of the members are believed to be connected to the Fourth of July mass shooting as an investigation continues to identify who is responsible.

“What I am looking for is justice. And I want to see the prosecution pan out all the way,” Taylor said. “I think closure comes when we know the entire process is complete. Indictments are one thing, but we need to know the process is complete.”