Charges for Czar Entertainment Founder,
June 22 (New York) - Wilbert L. Plummer, the Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Joseph R. Guccione, the United States Marshal for the Southern District of New York (USMS), and Raymond W. Kelly, the Police Commissioner of the City of New York (NYPD), today announced the unsealing of charges against Czar Entertainment founder James Rosemond, aka “Jimmy the Henchman,” and five other individuals – Rodney Johnson, Brian Mccleod, Derrick Grant, Jason Williams, and Shawn Williams (no relation) – stemming from the September 2009 murder of Lowell Fletcher.
In addition to the murder related charges, the Superseding Indictment also charges various defendants, including a seventh defendant, Ronald Anderson, with firearms and narcotics offenses.
Acting DEA Special Agent-in-Charge Wilbert L. Plummer said: “Violence and drug trafficking have a symbiotic relationship. In this case we pursued all intelligence until we identified, investigated and arrested the people responsible."
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “These defendants operated like a mini-gang, allegedly committing a revenge killing, and a host of drug and firearms offenses. Thanks to the cooperative efforts of law enforcement, they will now be held to account for all of their alleged conduct.”
United States Marshal Joseph R. Guccione said: “Assisting our law enforcement partners remains a top priority of the United States Marshals Service and this case highlights that successful relationship.”
NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said: “This has not been a good month for Jimmy the Henchman. Already in federal prison for criminal drug trafficking, James Rosemond now faces charges for a 2009 murder committed as payback for an assault on his son. This retaliatory violence not only sets the worst kind of example, it won’t be tolerated by law enforcement. I commend the 44 th Precinct Detective Squad and case detective Steven Smith, as well as the DEA agents, U.S. Marshals and prosecutors from the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office involved in pursuing this case.”
According to the Superseding Indictment unsealed today and prior court proceedings: Rosemond is the founder of Czar Entertainment, a rap music management company. Rosemond’s son, James Rosemond Jr., was assaulted by Lowell Fletcher and associates of a rival management company. Johnson, McCleod, Grant, Jason Williams and Sean Williams conspired to shoot and kill Fletcher at the direction of Rosemond. Fletcher was gunned down in the vicinity of Jerome Avenue and Mount Eden Avenue in the Bronx on the evening of September 27, 2009.
Rosemond, 47, Johnson, 38, McCleod, 41, Grant, 39, Jason Williams, 30, and Shawn Williams, 37, have each been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit a murder for hire, and one count of using a firearm in connection with a murder for hire.
In addition to the murder and firearm charges, several defendants are also charged with narcotics and additional firearms offenses. Anderson, 32, who has not been charged in connection with the homicide of Fletcher, Johnson, and McCleod are charged with conspiring to distribute narcotics. Johnson and Anderson have also been charged with using and possessing firearms in connection with a drug trafficking crime, and Johnson is also charged with possessing a firearm after being convicted of a felony.
Rosemond is currently incarcerated following his conviction in the Eastern District of New York for drug and continuing criminal enterprise charges. Jason Williams is currently incarcerated following a conviction on drug charges in the Eastern District of New York. Johnson has been in custody since his arrest on April 28, 2010. McCleod has been in custody since his arrest on May 26, 2011. Grant and Shawn Williams have been in custody since their arrests on May 14, 2012.
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Colleen McMahon. The charges against each defendant and the corresponding maximum potential penalties are outlined in the chart attached to this press release. Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the DEA, the USMS, and the NYPD.
The prosecution of these cases is being overseen by the Office’s Violent Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laurie Korenbaum and Santosh Aravind are in charge of the prosecution. The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.