Roc-A-Fella Founder Pleads Guilty in NY Drug Case

Thursday, March 15, 2012

One of Roc-A-Fella Records founders, Kareem “Biggs” Burke, pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges of conspiring to distribute marijuana.

Burke, 38, who helped launch the career of rap mogul Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, was among 50 people arrested in October 2010 in a massive drug bust of a ring that distributed marijuana from Florida to New York. Authorities seized nearly $2 million and more than 360 pounds of marijuana in the probe.

He pleaded guilty before U.S District Judge Laura Taylor Swain to one count of conspiracy to distribute. He also admitted to possessing more than 100 kilograms of marijuana with the intent to sell in New York and New Jersey.

Under his plea agreement, Burke is required to forfeit $660,000, his residence, a 2010 BMW and $15,000 in cash seized by police in his North Bergen, New Jersey home. 

The 18-month investigation, dubbed “Operation Green Venom,” was conducted by U.S. Immigration, Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Burke will be sentenced on May 18. He faces a minimum of five years in prison.

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