It was all good just a week ago. Kareem “Biggs” Burke, a co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, has been sentenced to five years in prison for conspiring to distribute over 100 kilograms of marijuana, according to the New York Daily News.
Biggs, 38, was netted in the “Operation Green Venom,” a federal sting that started in July 2008 and targeted a drug trafficking ring that dominated the city’s wholesale marijuana market for more than a decade.
Also targeted were the brokers who coordinated the transport of the drugs from Florida to New York, as well as the actual drivers. The Drug Enforcement Administration, New York’s Department of Investigation, the New York Police Department, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in New York and the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s office were all involved with the sting.
In October 2010, Burke, High Times magazine salesman Matthew “Magazine Guy” Stang and Manuel Geovanny Rodriguez-Perez, the alleged leader of the ring, were arrested, along with many others. Via intercepted telephone calls, Biggs was heard discussing activities at a grow house with Rodriguez-Perez, who, on the other hand, was caught discussing violent acts that included one threat to a customer.
As Biggs was sentenced, he assured Manhattan Federal Court Judge Loretta Swain that this would be the last time she would ever see him in court. “I’m going to keep you to that promise,” Judge Swain replied.
Burke received the mandatory minimum sentence of five after striking a plea deal that required him to forfeit his $600,000 New Jersey home, a BMW and $15,000 in cash.
Still, Biggs has not been the only former co-founder of Roc-A-Fella with legal issues. This past March, New Orleans spitta Curren$y filed a $1.5 million lawsuit that included claims that Dame Dash sold his LP, The Muscle Car Chronicles, wrongfully, as previously reported by XXLMag.com. The lawsuit remains unresolved.
Burke, Dash and Jay-Z would part once Roc-A-Fella became Island Def Jam Music Group’s subsidiary in 2004.—Christopher Minaya