A record company with powerhouse clients like Lady Gaga and U2 has reportedly been used by a drug-trafficking ring involving shipments of equipment cases stuffed with cocaine and vacuum-packed $20 bills.
A year-long Drug Enforcement Administration investigation has resulted in the indictment of James Rosemond on 18 felony charges that could mean he'll spend the rest of his life behind bars if convicted, The Smoking Gun reports.
A letter filed Wednesday with the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn details evidence against Rosemond, known as "Jimmy Henchmen," a music-industry manager who has been in custody since shortly after the indictments.
Prosecutors and DEA agents have been provided insider accounts by Rosemond's associates, who have admitted to roles in the operation.
Between January 2010 and June 2011, members of Rosemond's organization used "road cases" made specifically for musical equipment to ship cocaine from Los Angeles to New York, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The cases then allegedly were stuffed with the proceeds from the cocaine sales and distributed to music studios in Los Angeles. The company responsible for shipping the cases, Rock-It Cargo Ltd., declined to comment, but the filing did not say whether the company was aware of what was being shipped.
Federal prosecutors say it's possible that the employees of Interscope Records, a division of Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group, were unaware that their company was being used as a way station.
Rosemond's lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, denies charges against his client but hasn't sought bail for him.
Details of how members of the narcotics ring were able to access Interscope's office are still unclear, but Rosemond's biggest client, rapper The Game, records for the label, and the Smoking Gun reports that the road manager for The Game has been implicated in the drug-trafficking ring.