For reasons the court has barred the public from knowing, Terrance "Gangsta" Williams, a notorious New Orleans street figure from the 1990s, who was locked up in federal prison for more than 20 years on a life sentence, walked free this month.
An FBI wiretap caught Terrance "Gangsta" Williams, the half-brother of Cash Money Records founders Bryan "Birdman" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams, dealing heroin and plotting murders.
Terrance "Gangsta" Williams, who is thought to have helped fund Cash Money, belonged to a violent street crew called "Hot Boys," the name that later became associated with the group's breakout group, which included Wayne, Turk, Juvenile, and Christopher "B.G." Dorsey.
According to court records, he plotted to kill a group of New York drug dealers in New Orleans in order to get paid for heroin they shipped by mail to an associate of Williams. The federal agents intercepted Williams' package and listened to him devise a murder plot. He was sentenced to life plus 20 years in prison.
Among the other sworn narratives supporting Williams' guilty plea is one that says he "purchased cars in other people's names, told others about a substantial cash investment in a recording company, and had no legitimate income."
Records show he was resentenced to 27 1/2 years last month by U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Williams was released on Jan. 3 at the age of 47.
Judges often obscure a defendant's cooperation and benefits by sealing records, hearings, and transcripts, despite federal law directing them to "state in open court the reasons for their imposed sentences." In some cases, even resentenced inmates are not included on the public docket.