Today, Jay-Z and Dame Dash‘s Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Kareem “Biggs” Burke was reportedly arrested after being caught in a massive marijuana trafficking operation.
According to reports, Biggs was merely one of over 40 individuals arrested.
Kareem Burke, also known as Biggs, was arrested at his home in Bergen, New Jersey, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers said. Another 44 people have been arrested and charged with drug trafficking, while five remain at large, prosecutors said in a statement. Among the 45 arrested was Matthew Stang, a writer and advertising representative for High Times, a New York-based marijuana advocacy magazine. All 50 people charged face a maximum sentence of life in prison. (ABC News)
A special agent handling the case discussed the seriousness behind Friday’s bust.
“This isn’t just a group that controlled one block, one neighborhood,” said Jim Hayes special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations for Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “They dominated the wholesale marijuana market in New York for 20 years.” (New York Daily News)
Additional reports claim the investigation has been in effect for nearly two years.
Jim Hayes, head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New York, said Friday that the arrests are the result of an 18-month investigation. He says agents seized $1 million and almost 200 pounds of marijuana. Authorities say the marijuana was grown in Florida and smuggled to New York. It wasn’t immediately clear as to what role Burke played in the operation. Along with Jay-Z and Damon Dash, he founded Roc-A-Fella in the 1990’s. (WPIX)
Reports also suggest the operation began as late as the early 1990’s.
The government alleged the ring had imported many tons of marijuana into the city since 1992 and netted more than $20 million in profits. Law enforcement agencies seized more than 160 kilograms of marijuana during the investigation. The 128-page indictment of the group includes tales of suitcases packed with nearly $400,000 and tractor-trailers carrying heavy loads of drugs. (Wall Street Journal)