The fallout from last year’s Hankton family drug gang trial in New Orleans has been fierce: two witnesses dead, one more Hankton family lieutenant convicted…..twice.

That lieutenant, Julius Hankton, a 28-year old cousin of imprisoned Big Easy drug lord “Wild Telly” Hankton, the No. 1 defendant in a frenzied 2016 federal racketeering and murder trial, pled guilty to manslaughter last month, less than a year after pleading guilty to his role in a narcotics conspiracy – he’s expected to receive a 40-year prison sentence. According to his homicide indictment, Julius Hankton and his step brother Quentin Hankton shot and killed Maurice (Mo Red) Sparkman on December 3, 2014 for Sparkman’s brazen robbery of a Hankton gang gambling den. Quentin Hankton is currently awaiting trial on the charges.

Wild Telly Hankton, his criminal empire’s top enforcer, Walter (Moonie) Porter and two other family members were found guilty of racketeering and murder charges in July 2016. The Hankton family has ruled the New Orleans drug trade for the last two and a half decades.

In the months following the convictions of Hankton and Porter, a pair of witnesses against them popped up dead eight weeks apart. First, Gerard (G-Rock) Howard was gunned down on August 3, 2016. Then, on December 4, Bobby Basquine was slain in a drive-by shooting. They had both given testimony damaging to Moonie Porter, an accomplished and feared assassin in the Crescent City drug world doing life behind bars for four murders, while being a suspect in several more. The 41-year old Wild Telly Hankton is also serving a life prison sentence.

Howard worked for Porter and was the initial domino to fall in the government’s assault on the Hankton organization, getting busted on weapons violations in 2012 and becoming an informant. It was Howard that alerted authorities to Porter’s penchant for “double-fisting” – using two automatic guns simultaneously – on his hits and leaving dozens of shell casings in his wake. Big Easy rapper B.G. once name-checked Porter in a song, proclaiming “niggas get hit 50 if my nigga Moonie around.”

During his time on the stand in the summer of 2016, Basquine, 22, testified that he purchased a gun from Porter linked to three gangland hits as a means of knowingly helping Porter distance himself from the murder weapon. Shortly after his testimony, Basquine, who was serving a prison term for drug and gun charges and had testified against Porter, 40, at two separate trials, was released from custody and set free.

 

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