A prominent record executive known as "Jimmy Henchman" was arrested Tuesday on charges that he spearheaded a drug-trafficking ring responsible for shuttling millions of dollars and hundreds of kilograms of cocaine between Los Angeles and New York.
The arrest comes less than a week after "Henchman," whose given name is James Rosemond, was implicated in a 1994 robbery of the rapper Tupac Shakur by a man, Dexter Isaac, who claimed Rosemond paid him $2,500 for the attack. Isaac, who is serving a life sentence for murder and robbery, linked Rosemond to the shooting in a statement released to a hip-hop website. Rosemond has denied the allegations through his lawyer.
Rosemond, 46, the CEO and co-founder of Czar Entertainment, is scheduled to make his initial appearance in Brooklyn federal court, following his arrest Tuesday morning by U.S. Marshals and agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency.
He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted on the charges, according to federal prosecutors.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn said prosecutors will seek to have Rosemond held without bail. Rosemond's attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, said he expects to address the bail issue at a later hearing.
Federal agents have been investigating Rosemond since 2009 in connection with what they allege is a large-scale, bi-coastal narcotics trafficking organization that relied on numerous cohorts and conspirators in both Los Angeles and New York "to ensure a near-continuous flow of cocaine and cash," according to the complaint.
Prosecutors allege that Rosemond came up with a number of schemes to smuggle the drugs and money since 2008. At first, the drugs were shipped in vacuum-sealed packages filled with mustard, to evade drug-detecting dogs.
When law enforcement officials began to catch on, Rosemond started sending drugs via freight ostensibly intended for the performance artists he managed, according to the complaint. When one of those packages was seized by authorities, Rosemond shifted to smuggling drugs in hidden compartments of cars shipped from the west to east coasts, prosecutors allege.
The complaint is based on information gleaned from Rosemond's financial records, recorded phone calls, emails, text messages and extensive testimony from two cooperating witnesses who confessed to participating in the conspiracy following arrests on related charges, according to prosecutors. The complaint also says that searches have uncovered firearms belonging to Rosemond's organization.
"The indictment is the result of witnesses who have been threatened and bribed and have otherwise spent lifetimes lying," Rosemond's attorney, Lichtman, said Tuesday. "The government wants a trial; they're going to get a trial."
A call to Czar Entertainment was not answered.