Last year, Tone Deaf reported that Interscope had become imbroiled in a drug racket in which the major music label was being used as a front for a cocaine scandal.
Allegledly, members of a narcotics ring were shipping the drugs in “road cases” that were delivered and picked up from the office of Interscope Records – home to artists like Lady Gaga, Eminem, and U2 – which oversaw the distribution of cash and cocaine worth millions of dollars.
A year-long investigation by the US Drug Enforcement Agency uncovered shipping records by a cargo firm that was used to transport the cases, whose illegal contents were hidden from scrutiny due to their legitimate use of road cases by some of the label’s artists when they tour. The disguising of these illegitimate freight was made possible by one James Rosemond, a 46-year-old rap music manager.
The US Justice Department indicted Rosemond on 18 felony charges, which if convicted could see him serving life.
Now, federal investigators are putting the squeeze on the music mogul to give up his connections on some high-profile music stars, including links with Sean “Diddy” Combs, ex-Fugee Wyclef Jean and LA-based rapper The Game, Rosemond’s biggest client.
The Smoking Gun, who previously reported Rosemond’s implication in allowing the drug ring access to Interscope’s offices, now reports of several “proffer sessions” between Rosemond and federal investigators to “try and strike a cooperation agreement.”
One federal agent in particular, Agent Marc Van Driessche, offered a testimony to Federal prosecutors about his exchanges with the drug kinping/music manager. Including initial sessions where they pressured Rosemond about his connections with Combs: “We had information through other witnesses that the defendant may have made an admission to Sean Combs,” Van Driessche testified, Rosemond having had prior “business transactions with [Combs] in the music business,” and described their relationship as “cordial.”
As for Rosemond’s extensive financial exchanges with Wyclef Jean, Van Driessche testified of a lone to the singer for “$60,000 in cash that were drug proceeds but Wyclef didn’t know it was drug proceeds.” He also added how Rosemond “had received over $800,000 in checks from companies associated with Wyclef Jean or companies run by Wyclef Jean’s tour manager,” implicating Jean, currently a presidential candidate for Haiti, as being involved with the laundering of drug proceeds to Rosemond.
The Federal investigation into Rosemond’s drug trafficking also implicated his music management company, Czar Entertainment, as a “front operation through which Rosemond washed millions in proceeds from the sale of thousands of kilos of cocaine.” As well as describing how he “shipped cocaine and cash from New York to Los Angeles inside cases built to hold musical equipment” along with using “music cases to ship firearms to… The Game.”
Rosemond’s questioning even included a grilling regarding the biggest beef in hip-hop history, namely the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, to which Rosemond replied that he knew nothing of the killings.
The investigation is due to wrap in a week before Rosemond is put officially on trial.