New York rapper Casanova, who was charged with 17 other people in a gang case announced Tuesday, turned himself in to police Wednesday night, authorities said.
Casanova, real name Caswell Sr., was among members of the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation gang, which is alleged to have committed crimes in New York and the state, including the September murder of a 15-year-old in Poughkeepsie.
Casanova is not charged with murder, but faces every conspiracy count for racketeering; conspiracy to distribute controlled substances; and a charge of possession of a weapon, according to the U.S. Attorney̵
Casanova, 34, surrendered to the NYPD around 11:15 p.m. on Wednesday, the police department confirmed.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday and is in custody pending a bail proposal, his lawyer said.
“Mr Sr. is confident that the truth will come out [that] he will be acquitted, “Casanova’s lawyer, James Kouros, wrote in an email Thursday night.
He is accused of distributing drugs that include crack cocaine, cocaine and marijuana, according to the indictment. The number of weapons claimed that he and others possessed firearms at the time of the drug trafficking crime.
The charges include a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, according to US prosecutors.
The rapper was the only one of the 18 defendants who were not in custody when the indictment was announced on Tuesday. The FBI in New York posted on Twitter that they were looking for him.
His lawyer said the charge was sealed when others were arrested.
“He learned of the allegations and immediately turned to a lawyer to arrange for his extradition. He did not run away or hide, despite the serious nature of the allegations,” Kusuros said.
Prosecutors say there is a wide range of crimes against gang members in the general case, including racketeering, drugs, guns and fraud. The current US lawyer said the crimes affected communities “from Poughkeepsie to Pieskill to New York”.
“Gorilla Stone members committed horrific acts of violence, drug trafficking and even engaging in brazen fraud using aid programs designed to provide assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Audrey Strauss. e. in a statement on Tuesday.
The indictment usually sets out a schedule from at least 2010 to the present.
Casanova was raised in Flatbush, Brooklyn and is known for hits including “Don’t Run” and “Set Trippin.”
Associated Press contributed.