Kareem “Biggs” Burke, one of the co-founding members of Roc-A-Fella Records, has plead guilty to drug charges for his role in a massive drug ring. The former music exec faces up to six years in prison on charges to distribute more than 100 kilos of marijuana following a drug sting headed by the DEA back in late 2010. Along with Burke, High Times Magazine editor Matthew Stang and co-defendant Geovanny “Manny” Rodriguez Perez were also charged in the crime.
Back in 2010, a federal prosecutor announced that Burke was caught via wiretap discussing “grow houses” with the ring’s leader.
Prosecutors allege that the drugs were being grown using hydroponics in Florida and California. They were later smuggled to New York and sold for street sales. The trafficking ring, which authorities have dubbed “Green Venom,” has reportedly been in existence for almost 20 years.
The bust came after an 18-month investigation involving U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New York, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the New York Police Department. The city’s Department of Investigation and Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s office was also involved in the takedown, which resulted in the obtainment of nearly $2 million and more than 360 pounds of marijuana.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara spoke out on the bust, saying, “With today’s arrests, we have successfully shut down a major pipeline for marijuana distribution in New York City. This successful operation was the result of a dedicated and ongoing partnership among federal, state and local law enforcement and reaffirms our zero-tolerance policy for those who flout our drug laws.”