Grace found guilty in federal court

Staff reports

A federal jury Saturday convicted former St. Gabriel Mayor George L. Grace Sr. on seven of 13 counts that stemmed from the FBI sting “Operation Blighted Officials”.

He was convicted on charges including the violation of the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act, bribery, mail and wire fraud, making false statements to the FBI and aiding racketeering.

The trial began Jan. 10 in U.S. District Court.

Grace faces a maximum sentence of more than 100 years.

U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks Jr., of Shreveport, scheduled sentencing for July 2.

Grace was immediately jailed. Prosecutors convinced Hicks that Grace’s age -- and the ex-mayor’s ownership of property in Uganda – posed a risk for allowing Grace to remain free until his sentencing.

Former White Castle Mayor Maurice Brown began serving a 10-year sentencing last year.

Grace, 68, became mayor upon the city’s incorporation in 1994. He served until last year, when Lionel Johnson Jr. defeated him in the wake of the indictment.

Former New Roads Mayor Tommy Nelson began his 11-year sentence last month.