Prosecutors say rapper Bobby Shmurda was not only a participant in a New York drug-dealing ring, but the driving force behind it and deadly gang violence.
Officials had Bobby Shmurda arrested Wednesday morning along with 14 others as part of a two-year investigation and sting operation by the NYPD.
The hip hop star, real name Ackquille Pollard, and the G-Stone Crips (GS9) gang have been under surveillance by the Brooklyn South Violence Reduction Task Force.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the Special Narcotics Prosecutor had been looking into the gang, based in Brooklyn’s East Flatbush neighborhood.
Prosecutors accused him and his gang of selling drugs, primarily crack, and using the money to buy guns used in 24 shootings, including three homicides.
The shocking list of felony charges against Bobby Shmurda, 20, includes criminal possession of weapon, assault and criminal use of drug paraphernalia.
In court at his arraignment, Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Nigel Farinha stated his belief that Shmurda was “the driving force behind the GS9 gang.”
Shmurda pleaded not guilty through his attorney Howard Greenberg. His bail was set at $2 million, which Shmurda hadn’t posted as of early Thursday evening.
He's been in the top 10 on the Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and has a lucrative record deal with Epic Records, having performed on the late night TV circuit.
Shmurda is perhaps best known for the hit song “Hot Boy” and its music video that led to the popular dance craze known as the “Shmoney dance.”
For these reasons, he argued (in vain) that he should be released without bail.
“He is a legitimate star. He is rich. He is busy,” Greenberg said.
“As a matter of logic, it makes no sense.”
As for the charges of drug dealing, the attorney said, “It’s just guys who know each other who have the constitutional right to say stupid things to each other."
In regard to an allegation that Shmurda fired a gun in the direction of his brother after a fight, Greenberg was even more defiant: “Read my lips: bulls--t.”
Police arrested 13 of the defendants in New York, while two others were being extradited from out of state after the sting culminated earlier this week.