The Hip Hop police strike again, announcing charges on Brooklyn rapper, Bobby Shmurda, after being arrested in a recent drug sting. According to Brooklyn authorities, Shmurda was included in a long-term investigation into drug trafficking, shootings, and street violence plaguing the Brooklyn streets. Shmurda, whose birth name is Ackquille Pollard, was sitting in a car outside Quad Recording Studios on Seventh Avenue when investigators converged on him. Quad Recording Studios is also the same studio where late rapper Tupac Shakur was shot and robbed back in 1994.
Dozens of people were ensnared in the net. Kati Cornell, Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor for New York City, said the specific charges and details were scheduled to be released in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Thursday. The department, in conjunction with the NYPD’s, Brooklyn South Violence Reduction Task Force, had a long-term operation focused on reducing shootings and drug trafficking according to Cornell.
Authorities say that several shootings in the area have been traced back to their investigation and in the course of the sting, several firearms were recovered. Thirteen individuals were arrested Wednesday in the city. Two more individuals were being brought back to the state for extradition and still other suspects were being located.
The announced charges against Bobby Shmurda in the 69-count indictment included possession with intent to sell, distribution, weapons charges, attempted murder, and a host of other crimes. Howard Greenberg, Pollard’s lawyer, referred to the indictment passed down by federal agents as being worthless. Aside from unreliable testimony from alleged co-conspirators, there was little evidence to convict the rapper according to Greenberg.
Twenty-one guns were recovered during the course of the raid. According to authorities, one handgun was recovered from a duffel bag on the rapper’s lap when authorities swarmed him outside Quad Studios. A second weapon and some crack cocaine were also found in the vehicle according to authorities. Bridget G. Brennan, special narcotics prosecutor, said that Shmurda and his faction had been on their radar for the last two years.
The Brooklyn native is also charged with being present during a firefight with a rival gang outside of a courthouse in January, as well as firing a weapon outside of a Brooklyn barbershop earlier in the year. The Washington Post reported that Shmurda’s entourage habitually fired shots into open crowds forcing club-goers from Miami to New York to duck for cover.
Members of Shmurda’s group, GS9, were also caught up in the sweep. Per the rapper’s admission, GS9 is the name of the hip hop crew GS9 Entertainment. Police state that it is just a cover and that the GS9 is an abbreviation for the East Flatbush gang, G Stone Crips.
There is little doubt in the minds of authorities that Shmurda is the push behind the group and deemed a figurehead. Nigel Farina, New York City prosecutor, told the New York Times that Shmurda was the organizing head within the criminal organization during his arraignment.
Law enforcement used several avenues to build their case against Shmurda. Evidence was gleaned from prison calls by GS9 members allegedly discussing attacks against rival gangs and narcotics distribution. The gang members would talk in code referring to firearms as “socks” and narcotics as “crills.”
His songs and videos played like documentaries of the nefarious acts committed by the gang. NYPD spokesman, James Essig, said during a news conference that the rapper creatively documented the actions being carried out in the streets.
In an interview with Complex Magazine in July, the rapper admitted that he was dealing drugs as early as elementary school. In his song, Hot Boy, he rapped that he had been dealing crack since fifth grade. Ordinarily, song lyrics would be covered under the First Amendment right to free speech, however Pollard has admitted in various interviews that his lyrics were an accurate depiction of real life. New Jersey State Supreme Court ruled recently that rap lyrics were inadmissible in court unless they displayed a strong nexus of illicit activity.
Shmurda also alluded to committing murder in Hot Boy, saying that, like cops; his crew would “pull up” on unsuspecting victims and fire with M-16’s. He referenced GS9 member, Deshain “Mitch” Cockett, in the same song claiming, he “caught a body ‘bout a week ago.” Bobby Shmurda announced in an interview with Power 105.1, that Mitch, also arrested with five other members of the group in the drug sting, was charged with attempted murder. The rapper has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
By Stevenson Benoit