Two men were sentenced Tuesday to a collective 66 years in federal prison for their roles in a whole slew of criminal activity stretching from Louisiana to California, including a murder-for-hire scheme that resulted in the death of an Oakland man.
The San Francisco office of the FBI announced on Twitter Wednesday that Mario Robinson of Oakland and Marcus Etienne, a.k.a. "Hitler," of St. Martin Parish, Louisiana will immediately begin serving their respective 34- and 32-year sentences for “racketeering conspiracy” in a multi-state pot ring enterprise. The conspiracy aspect is just the tip of the iceberg in a laundry list of charges that reads like the stuff of nightmares.
According to the FBI, the pair were “engaged in narcotics distribution, assault, robbery, extortion, extortionate collection of extensions of credit, murder for hire, murder, money laundering, illegal firearms possession, gambling on dogfighting, [and] obstruction of justice.” The FBI reported that dogs were seriously injured and some were killed.
Robinson and Etienne both pleaded guilty in December.
The murder-for-hire charge stems from the homicide of Trince Thibodeaux, an Oakland man originally from Louisiana who was also a member of the criminal ring. According to the FBI, Etienne offered Robinson $5,000 to kill Thibodeaux, and the deal was accepted. According to prosecutors, Robinson contracted one Burte Gucci Rhodes to execute the murder at the discounted price of $1,250. Rhodes is being prosecuted separately, as reported by KPIX.
Thibodeaux was killed in Oakland on March 22, 2016. According to the Mercury News, Carla Thibodeaux, the victim’s mother, addressed both defendants in court Tuesday, saying:
“Nothing here will give me my son back, give [his daughter] who is going to graduate in three years her daddy back. He will never see her accomplish anything in her life.”
“You took an excellent man off this earth.”
Etienne’s attorney attempted to explain in a memo how his client was drawn into a life of such violent crime. In the memo obtained by the Mercury News, he wrote:
“Despite his mother’s best efforts, (Etienne) and his siblings were raised in poverty. His father suffered from a substance use disorder, and much of his income went to support his addiction.”
Carla Thibodeaux pointed out in court that her son would have celebrated his 33rd birthday next week, adding:
“We have to mourn that birthday.”