Earlier this week, the FBI announced that rapper Casanova was wanted on federal racketeering, drug, and firearm-possession charges. Now, the Brooklyn-born rapper has been arrested in connection with the alleged crimes.
In coordination with the NYPD and investigators from several other New York police departments, the FBI’s New York division on Tuesday unveiled 16 charges against 18 alleged members of the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation Gang – including Casanova, whose full name is Caswell Senior. The Roc Nation-signed artist wasn’t in law-enforcement custody at the time of the announcement, however, and the FBI signaled that they were “still looking for” him.
Casanova, who Tekashi 6ix9ine named during his much-publicized courtroom testimony, is facing a maximum of 20 years behind bars on the aforementioned racketeering charge, as well as a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years on one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and five years for possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime, if convicted.
Moreover, the other 17 individuals arrested as part of the high-profile investigation could serve jail time for allegedly using a “dangerous weapon” to slash a victim’s face, filing fraudulent applications for COVID-19 unemployment benefits, and murdering a minor in Poughkeepsie, New York, to note just some of the alleged crimes. Each of the incidents related to furthering the interests of Untouchable Gorilla Stone operations, per prosecutors, with the dangerous-weapon crime having allegedly occurred back in January of 2018.
The 34-year-old Casanova has officially surrendered to law enforcement – and provided his fans with an update on the situation through a brief video.
“As you already know,” Casanova begins the message, wearing one of his branded hoodies and standing before a wall, “I’m fighting serious charges right now. But I’m innocent, that’s one.
“Two, I’ve been fighting my whole life, so I’ll get through this. Just understand how they can get you jammed up. You don’t know nobody, you ain’t got nothing to do with nothing, they still get you jammed up.
“Rappers, we are a target. Just be careful out there – watch who you associate with, watch who people bring you around. And I’ll see y’all soon, God willing,” finished Casanova.
Separately, the rapper’s wife uploaded a clip of Casanova – who was wearing the same hoodie as in the above-transcribed video – just moments before he turned himself in, at about 11:15 PM on Wednesday evening.
And during an arraignment (conducted via livestream due to the pandemic), the artist pled not guilty to the charges and was informed “that there were 6 wiretaps on him as well as extensive amounts of other electronic surveillance,” per Fox 5 New York reporter Lisa Evers.
Leaked footage, purportedly showing a friend of Casanova’s wife speaking to authorities (without a lawyer) about the alleged crimes of the rapper, including by mentioning his name, has also made its way onto the internet. Many fans are speculating that the episode contributed to the wiretaps and the arrest of Casanova, who is awaiting a bail hearing.