joell-ortiz.jpgOn Monday (March 19), prosecutors announced an ongoing drug investigation involving New Jersey based record label Block Royal. The label was founded by Robert “Screw” Montanez, who was slain in 2004 while trying to prevent the armed robbery of rapper Capone of Capone-N-Noriega. Montanez was the former manager of singer Akon, and Aftermath Entertainment’s Joell Ortiz is known to be affiliated with the label. According to NorthJersey.com, raids by police on the label’s Jersey City recording studio turned up 700 grams of crack cocaine with a street value of over $70,000, several handguns and $30,000 in cash. Hudson County Prosecutor Edward J. De Fazio commented that despite Block Royal’s ties to legitimate recording artists, “for all intents and purposes, it was a front for their drug distribution business.” De Fazio’s office worked in conjunction with Jersey City Police and the DEA on the investigation, which was dubbed “Operation Royal Flush.” Over a three month period, police gathered wiretap and surveillance evidence on the organization, and have since arrested 24 people on various state and federal drug charges. “Based on the amount we confiscated, it is clear this was a large-scale wholesale distribution network,” De Fazio said. “These were fellows dealing in large amounts of drugs, and they were dealing to top distributors.”