Music

Casanova Pleads Guilty to Racketeering and Drug Charges

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Roc Nation rapper Casanova pleaded guilty Wednesday to joining in gang mayhem as a leader of the Gorilla Stone Nation.

The 35-year-old rapper, whose legal name is Caswell Senior, admitted to shooting someone at a party in Florida in 2020 over a gambling dispute, a 2018 robbery in Manhattan in which a member of his entourage choked a woman unconscious after taking a photo of him, and conspiring to move more than 100 kilograms of weed. He copped to racketeering and narcotics charges in U.S. District Court in White Plains.

The Montville, N.J., man’s hearing came more than a year and a half after his arrest in a sweeping December 2020 indictment with 17 other accused members of the “Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation” gang.

“Like 12 of his co-defendants, Caswell Senior, an accomplished recording artist and performer, now stands convicted of playing a leadership role in Gorilla Stone, a particularly violent Bloods gang that operates throughout New York and across the country,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. “In addition to his supervisory role, Senior was an active, hands-on participant in the gang’s senseless violence.”

The Bloods faction has been linked to several high-profile shootings and robberies in Westchester County and Brooklyn from 2004 through late 2020. One of its alleged members, Brandon “Stacks” Soto, is accused of driving an accomplice to Poughkeepsie to assassinate a 15-year-old boy in September 2020.

The gang’s founder, Dwight “Dick Wolf” Reid, ran it from behind bars while serving a 50-year prison term for the 2014 point-blank execution of a 33-year-old man at a Harlem bar, the feds say. They claim he got a cut of Casanova’s rap earnings.

James Kousouros, Senior’s lawyer, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Senior faces a maximum sentence of 60 years under federal guidelines when he’s sentenced in December.