BATON ROUGE – Members of a Baton Rouge street gang were formally charged Friday. Bradley Payne, Jermonte Clark, Tawayne Bridgewater, and three juveniles were accused of being apart of the “Never Broke Again North Side Ranger” street gang.
For more than a year, Baton Rouge police have targeted gang violence in the city. Friday a grand jury indicted the six teens on charges within the criminal street gang statute, in an effort to make the charges stick. Some in the group were also involved in two armed robberies that happened two minutes apart.
District Attorney Hillar Moore says a new gang statute was used to build a solid case and hold gang members in jail longer. For example, if the crime carries 20 years, Moore says the stature allows them to tack on an additional 10 consecutive years.
“It does give us the ability to prove they were operating as a street gang and that the crimes they were committing were enumerated crimes, crimes that were listed in the statute,” Moore said.
Bradley Payne is an 18-year-old who was involved in the murder of a 17-year-old on Grove Avenue near the mall of Louisiana in 2020.
Charges for that crime were not included on the indictment. District Attorney Hillar Moore hopes these new gang changes can keep potential gang members like Payne out of trouble, and off the street.
“These are difficult cases,” Moore added. “They’re hard to put together because they take so much work.”