Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JAMES ROSEMOND, a/k/a “Jimmy the Henchman,” was found guilty on December 11 of murder-for-hire, conspiracy to murder-for-hire, and firearms offenses for ordering the murder of Lowell Fletcher. The jury convicted ROSEMOND on all counts in the controlling indictment following a two-week re-trial before U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon.
According to court papers and the evidence admitted at trial:
JAMES ROSEMOND was the founder of Czar Entertainment, a rap music management company, and also the head of a large-scale cocaine trafficking organization. In 2007, members and associates of a rival rap group known as “G-Unit” – including Marvin Bernard, a/k/a “Tony Yayo,” and his associate Lowell Fletcher, a/k/a “Lodi Mac” – assaulted ROSEMOND’s son. ROSEMOND’s son was not seriously injured in the assault, and Fletcher ended up serving prison time for his involvement in the assault. Nevertheless, ROSEMOND recruited a crew of men to murder Fletcher upon his release from prison by promising the men at least $30,000 in payment for killing Fletcher. ROSEMOND had developed criminal relationships with these men through his involvement in the cocaine trade. At ROSEMOND’s direction, members of the murder crew selected a dark and quiet location for the murder in the vicinity of Mount Eden and Jerome Avenues in the Bronx, and lured Fletcher to that spot. When Fletcher arrived there in the evening on September 27, 2009, a member of the murder crew stepped out of the shadows and fired five bullets into Fletcher’s back using a .22 caliber handgun with a silencer. Fletcher died later that night. On October 2, 2009, ROSEMOND had a trusted employee of his cocaine organization provide a kilogram of cocaine – worth about $30,000 in street value – as payment for the murder.
At the conclusion of ROSEMOND’s first trial earlier in 2014, a mistrial was declared because the jury was not able to reach a unanimous verdict on the counts against ROSEMOND and a co-defendant relating to the Fletcher murder. ROSEMOND’s co-defendant in that trial, Rodney Johnson, was convicted of narcotics and firearms counts, and is scheduled to be sentenced in January 2015 before Judge McMahon. ROSEMOND was retried on the murder-for-hire, conspiracy to murder-for-hire, and firearms offenses, resulting in yesterday’s conviction on all the counts against ROSEMOND arising from the Fletcher murder.
For his role in ordering, planning, and paying for the murder of Lowell Fletcher, ROSEMOND was convicted of one count of substantive murder-for-hire, one count of conspiracy to murder-for-hire, and two firearms counts. ROSEMOND faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison. ROSEMOND is scheduled to be sentenced in March 2015 before Judge McMahon.
U.S. Attorney Bharara thanked and praised the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York City Police Department, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Marshals Service for their outstanding work in this investigation.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit. The trial was conducted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samson Enzer and Ryan P. Poscablo.