Federal authorities are preparing for the sentencing of Casanova, who”s been described as a “magnet” for gang violence due to his high-profile role within the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation. The rapper faces up to 60 years in prison and is among the 18 individuals charged in a comprehensive RICO case that emerged in December 2020.
The charges include racketeering conspiracy, drug trafficking and firearms offenses. Casanova initially pleaded not guilty to all charges, arguing that his high-profile status and connections made him a target for authorities.
However, he later admitted to several violent acts. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to conduct and participate in the affairs of a criminal enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity and one count of conspiracy to distribute over 100 kilograms of marijuana.
In one incident cited by the Feds, in July 2020, Casanova and other gang members traveled to Miami for a birthday celebration. An altercation over a gambling dispute led to Casanova discharging a firearm at a rival gang member of the Mac Ballers, hitting two individuals.
Evidence from social media and text messages placed him with other Gorilla Stone members at the time of the shooting, and he later admitted that this shooting took place as part of the racketeering activity to which he pleaded guilty.
In another incident in August 2018, Casanova and an associate committed a robbery at a Manhattan diner. This act of violence began when Casanova believed a woman was taking a photo of him. He forcefully took the woman’s cell phone, and his associate put her in a headlock and broke her jaw, leaving her unconscious.
Surveillance footage was used as evidence for this incident.
In October 2020, during an event outside a Florida strip club, a fellow gang member, Jarrett Crisler, Jr., shot two rival gang members to protect Casanova after a dispute over gang signs. The incident was detailed in encrypted Signal messages from Crisler.
In the words of United States Attorney Damian Williams, Casanova was not a half-hearted gang member or a mere brand ambassador.
“Unfortunately, he walked the walk. Senior’s offense conduct is not about a few song lyrics or how he marketed his music. Rather, he carried out an array of violent activity and significant narcotics trafficking that benefited some of the gang’s most violent and impactful members. His active role and deeply enmeshed conduct increased the stature of an out-of-control, brutally dangerous gang and brought in a generation of new members,” said United States Attorney Damian Williams.
The Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation, the gang with which Casanova is associated, is accused of various crimes, including drug trafficking, violent assaults, and the murder of a 15-year-old boy in Upstate New York.
In this case, the evidence includes the defendants’ own words, writings, and recorded criminal acts obtained through various sources such as social media warrants, cellphone extractions, prison calls, surveillance video, and cellphone location data.
The case continues to unfold as federal authorities recently received records relating to Casanova’s violent fight at Essex County Correctional Center on June 14, 2023.
Prison authorities said the rap star was drenched in his own blood after another inmate slashed his face, resulting in a wild melee that also left the rap star’s attacker wounded.
The government is expected to provide more information about this incident before sentencing. Prosecutors are seeking a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 19 years.
Casanova’s sentencing is scheduled for June 27 at 3:30 p.m. ET.