OCT 25 (BROOKLYN, N.Y.) - On Friday, October 25, 2013, James Rosemond, also known as “Jimmy Henchman,” was sentenced to mandatory life imprisonment in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, for leading a continuing criminal enterprise (the “Rosemond Organization”) that distributed thousands of pounds of cocaine, the majority of which was sold on the streets of Brooklyn and Queens. Rosemond was also sentenced for numerous narcotics conspiracy offenses, firearms possession, money laundering, structuring, and obstruction of justice. Rosemond was convicted of all thirteen counts in his indictment, following a three-week jury trial in May 2012. As part of the sentence, Rosemond forfeited $10 million, along with property worth approximately $4 million.
The sentence was announced by Brian Crowell, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), New York Division, Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Tony Weirauch, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Criminal Investigation, New York. The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge John Gleeson.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Crowell stated, “A life of luxury as an entertainment CEO built on a foundation of drug trafficking has resulted in a lifetime prison sentence. Drug trafficking does not pay off at the end of the day. As the head of this organization, Rosemond was overseeing the distribution of 50 to 100 kilos of cocaine per month into our communities while utilizing his position in the music industry to evade law enforcement. He oversaw an $11 million a year cocaine trafficking enterprise that transported cocaine in exchange for cash which was hidden in music equipment across the country. I commend the men and women of the DEA New York, Los Angeles, and Atlanta Divisions, as well as the IRS, USMS, USPS, DOJ OIG, and the United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of New York, whose diligence uncovered and completely dismantled this organization.”
“Rosemond styled himself a hip hop mogul, bringing the music of the streets to a wider audience and expanding opportunities of artists. In reality, his image as a music impresario was a cover for the real Jimmy Rosemond – a thug in a suit who flooded those same streets with cocaine, and shuttled drugs and money from coast to coast. Today’s life sentence is a fitting end to the Henchman’s two-faced machinations,” stated United States Attorney Lynch. “Along with our partners in law enforcement, this Office is committed to ridding our communities of the scourge of drugs and guns.” Ms. Lynch extended her grateful appreciation to the DEA, the IRS, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the United States Marshals Service, and the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General, for their work on the case.
IRS Special Agent-in-Charge Weirauch stated, “It is a good day for the American public whenever a narcotics trafficking organization is dismantled. As is typical in these investigations, the government has not only taken a supplier of illegal drugs off the streets, but has seized the assets that can be used in the fight against other such enterprises. IRS-Criminal Investigation proudly stands with our law enforcement partners in recognizing this accomplishment and looks forward to sharing our financial investigative expertise in the investigation and prosecution of other narcotics organizations.”
At trial, the evidence established that Rosemond was the leader of a large-scale, bi-coastal narcotics-trafficking organization that shipped cocaine from Los Angeles, California, to the New York City metropolitan area and that, in turn, shipped cash proceeds from narcotics sales back to Los Angeles.
The organization used a variety of shipping methods as part of its operation, including Federal Express and UPS to ship boxes of mustard-covered cocaine and drug money, as well as a music equipment shipping company to transport cocaine and drug money concealed in music equipment cases.
During the investigation, federal law enforcement agents made multiple seizures of drugs, money, firearms, and tools of the narcotics distribution trade belonging to the Rosemond Organization. For example, in April 2010, law enforcement seized 27 kilograms of cocaine. As part of the seizure, law enforcement conducted a search of one of Rosemond’s stash houses in Queens, which yielded 12 kilograms of cocaine, a machine gun, ammunition, and a variety of drug trafficking paraphernalia, including kilo presses, scales, and vacuum sealed bags used to package drugs and money. On that same day, law enforcement also seized a vehicle containing a trap designed to conceal contraband. In December 2010, law enforcement seized over $785,000 in cash proceeds from narcotics trafficking, stored in a music equipment case at a rehearsal studio in Manhattan. In total, between 2008 and 2010, law enforcement in New York and California seized over $2.8 million of the Rosemond Organizations drug proceeds.
Trial testimony also established that on May 11, 2011, Rosemond sold a kilogram of cocaine to a cooperating witness. After a warrant was issued for his arrest later that day, Rosemond fled, resulting in a manhunt lasting nearly two months that ended when he was apprehended in late June 2011.
To date as a result of this investigation, 19 members and associates of the Rosemond Organization have been convicted.
The government’s case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Todd Kaminsky, Soumya Dayananda, Lan Nguyen, Una A. Dean, Carolyn Pokorny, and Karin Orenstein.
EDNY Docket No. CR-11-424 (JG)