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NYC drug kingpin with ties to Jay Z pal pleads guilty to masterminding 9 murders

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29:  Handcuffs are seen on the hands of a twenty-year old "Street Villains" gang member who was arrested by Los Angeles Police Department officers from the 77th Street division on April 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The 77th Street division patrol the same neighborhood that truck driver Reginald Denny was nearly beaten to death by a group of black assailants at the intersection of Florence and Normandie Avenues. It?s been 20 years since the verdict was handed down in the Rodney King case that sparked infamous Los Angeles riots.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 29: Handcuffs are seen on the hands of a twenty-year old "Street Villains" gang member who was arrested by Los Angeles Police Department officers from the 77th Street division on April 29, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. The 77th Street division patrol the same neighborhood that truck driver Reginald Denny was nearly beaten to death by a group of black assailants at the intersection of Florence and Normandie Avenues. It?s been 20 years since the verdict was handed down in the Rodney King case that sparked infamous Los Angeles riots. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)  (2012 Getty Images)

A New York City drug kingpin, whose partner was a hip-hop mogul credited with giving Jay Z his start, has confessed to being the mastermind behind nine gangland murders.

Manuel Geovanny Rodriguez-Perez – a.k.a., “El Monstruo” or "The Monster" – was a major figure in the Big Apple’s marijuana trade for much of 1990s and early 2000s alongside Kareem "Biggs" Burke, who co-founded Roc-a-Fella Records and helped give Jay Z his start in the music business.

Rodriguez-Perez, 43, pleaded guilty earlier this week to one count of racketeering conspiracy in Manhattan federal court and also to being responsible for nine murders and ten attempted murders in that conspiracy.

Rodriguez-Perez could receive life in prison.

"He's accepted responsibility for his conduct, and now we're moving toward his sentence," Rodriguez-Perez's lawyer, Richard Ware Levitt, told the New York Daily News when asked about a plea deal.

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Burke was recorded talking to Rodriguez-Perez about marijuana supplies and also spotted by the feds in 2010 loading money given to him by “El Monstruo” into his BMW. He pleaded guilty to drug conspiracy charges in March 2012 and has since been released from federal prison.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office also charged Matthew Woodstock Stang, a former advertising executive for High Times magazine, with involvement in the gang’s $20 million marijuana operation.

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