FAIRFIELD (CBS13) – From rap stars to potential rap sheets – a group based in Northern California is accused of running a nationwide drug ring.
Federal agents say rappers were dealing Ecstasy and other drugs across the country.
Rappers associated with Thizz Entertainment are considered legends among some young people.
“It’s cool,” Andrew Jackson said
“Because what he’s saying I can relate to,” added Cameron Mitchell.
But federal investigators say some of the artists and their associates are using rap music as cover for criminal activity.
In a multi-agency sting operation 25 people have been arrested for large-scale drug distribution and money laundering across the country.
They allegedly had operations as far away as New York and Oklahoma City and had a strong presence in Southern and Northern California.
Agents seized about 45,000 Ecstasy pills, 4 pounds of crack cocaine, a half-pound of heroin and $200,000 in suspected drug profits. Police linked two now-closed Vallejo marijuana dispensaries to the rap label, and seized about 230 acres of property valued at about $1 million after raiding a Yuba County grow operation supplying the operation.
Thizz Entertainment has deep roots in Vallejo, and police say some of the label’s associates also have deep criminal pasts dating back to the 1980s involving violent takeover robberies and murder. Many of the label’s lyrics, the DEA said, promote Ecstasy use.
Some are asking people not to rush to judgment.
“Allegedly!” Ladonna Williams of Vallejo reminded. “If you’re doing wrong, you deserve to do the time, but if you’re being unjustly charged then that’s unfair.”
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for May 4 in Sacramento federal court.