DA criminal division chief earns FBI award

Published 7:48 am Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Special to The Daily News

Collin Sims, Criminal Division Chief under District Attorney Warren Montgomery, received the 2016 FBI Directors Award on Thursday, Sept. 15, in Washington, D.C., for his work as part of a team that investigated and prosecuted the violent Harvey Hustlers street gang in Jefferson Parish. Sims’ work on the case as an Assistant U.S. Attorney was among his final assignments before joining the Montgomery administration last year.

FBI Director James Comey presented the annual award, which is considered one of the most prestigious honors within the agency. Others who received it included FBI agents and employees, task force members from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, as well as prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office (Eastern District of Louisiana) and the Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office.

The work of the task force and prosecutors over several years dismantled the Harvey Hustlers street gang and several of its spin-offs, resulting in the federal and state convictions of 65 people of a variety of drug and violent crimes, including murder in aid of racketeering and homicide. The sentences ranged from five years to life imprisonment. The murder rate in Jefferson Parish dropped 39 percent from the start of the investigation in 2009 through 2015, according to the FBI.

Eventually, 22 defendants were charged in a racketeering conspiracy that involved a drug operation.

The investigators and prosecutors also were recognized in February by the Metropolitan Crime Commission with the Excellence in Law Enforcement Award.