The home of John “Tommy Hill” Wilson, lead rapper of the popular Philadelphia group The RAM Squad, was raided last night.
The group had been under investigation by the FBI since the late 1990’s after Hill and others formed an alliance with incarcerated Philadelphia mob boss, “Skinny” Joey Merlino.
Police allege that Wilson was dealing cocaine in significant quantities from his Northeast Philadelphia home.Undercover officers bought $10,000 worth of cocaine from Wilson several times over the past year.
Plainclothes officers raided the house around 5:30 PM yesterday (Dec. 23) and charged him with drug dealing and possession charges.Police allege Wilson oversees a vast drug distribution network, that funnels cocaine back to the Richard Allen Homes in Philadelphia and elsewhere.
Several other members of the group have been arrested on various charges over the past year, in an attempt to turn them into government witnesses.
“Its a shame that recording artists with such potential disintegrated into sordid accusations,” Bernard M. Resnick Esq., the group’s Entertainment lawyer told AllHipHop.com. “I haven’t spoken to Tommy Hill in close to a year. Most of the guys have been doing their own thing for that time. Obviously Tommy is innocent until proven guilty.”
Hill and Merlino didn’t exactly conceal their relationship. The two publicly appeared together in the late 90’s on stage at the now defunct club Gotham.
“I saw them together that night and so did the whole club, cause they were on stage,” a source asking not to be named told AllHipHop.com. “I couldn’t believe it. Kurupt, Tommy Hill and Skinny Joey were all on the stage together. I was still like ‘damn Richard Allen Mob is serious.’ Anyone who grew up in the Delaware Valley and was into hip-hop knew about RAM Squad. Their music was hot and the DJ’s always shouted them out.”
Merlino had ambitions to back the group’s career through an associate named Stephen “Eppy” Epstein.
Epstein’s wife was the late Linda Creed, the famed songwriter that penned hits for the Stylistics, The Spinners and Whitney Houston.
Through Epstein, the group landed a deal with Universal Records and released their major label debut Random Access Money.
Although the record was critically acclaimed and considered one of their best releases, the album sold poorly and the group was subsequently dropped.
“These guys had real talent, which is why I thought they had a shot,” Resnick continued. “This group had an overarching theme to every album they put out. They understood the over all marketing concepts better than most groups did. They thought consistently and artistically they planned more than a collection of songs. It’s just a sad situation.”
Hill is expected to be arraigned on drug charges in the next 24 hours.