NEW YORK — Prosecutors on Tuesday charged 18 alleged gang members — including rapper Casanova — in connection with various racketeering, murder, narcotics, firearms and fraud offenses, officials said.
Prosecutors added that Casanova is the only one of the 18 — who were allegedly a part of the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation gang — that was not in custody as of Tuesday. The FBI is still searching for the rapper, whose real name is Caswell Senior, and the agency believes he may be in the Atlanta area.
Officials charged Brandon Soto in connection with the Sept. 21 murder of a 15-year-old minor in Poughkeepsie. The accused individuals also allegedly defrauded COVID-19 economic assistance programs, acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said.
"Because of that, communities across the Southern District (of New York) – from Poughkeepsie to Peekskill to New York City — suffered," Strauss said.
The alleged crimes span a wide swath of New York: on June 12, Naya Austin, Dezon Washington and Jordan Ingram allegedly robbed a rival drug dealer at gunpoint in Peekskill; on July 20, Stephen Hugh allegedly shot at rival gang members in New Rochelle and on Aug. 28 of 2018, Brinae Thornton allegedly shot at a rival gang member in Brooklyn.
Casanova is currently signed to Roc Nation, the label founded and operated by Jay-Z, in 2008. He released his first studio album in 2019 and has collaborated with artists like Jeremih, Chris Brown and DMX.
This story was originally published by Aliza Chasan on WPIX in New York City.