Rapper Casanova Pleads Guilty to Multiple Serious Charges

Brooklyn rapper Casanova is facing years behind bars after he pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges in a gang-related federal racketeering case. Casanova's guilty plea to racketeering and narcotics offenses came more than a year after he and 17 other members of the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation gang were charged in a sweeping December 2020 indictment.

The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York confirmed that the 35-year-old rapper, whose legal name is Caswell Senior, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Philip M. Halpern to one count of conspiring to conduct and participate in the conduct of the affairs of a criminal enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity and one count of conspiring to distribute over 100 kilograms of marijuana. He also admitted to participating in a July 2020 shooting in Florida, an August 2018 robbery in New York City, and conspiring to traffic over 100 kilograms of marijuana. 

"Like 12 of his co-defendants, Caswell Senior, an accomplished recording artist and performer, now stands convicted of playing a leadership role in Gorilla Stone, a particularly violent Bloods gang that operates throughout New York and across the country," Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. "In addition to his supervisory role, Senior was an active, hands-on participant in the gang's senseless violence."

ABC7 reported that Casanova is the 13th defendant in the Gorilla Stone case to plead guilty. Per the New York Daily News, the Bloods faction has been linked to numerous high-profile shootings and robberies in Westchester County and Brooklyn from 2004 through late 2020. The Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation gang was founded by Dwight "Dick Wolf" Reid, who is said to have ran it from behind bars while serving a 50-year prison. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York said that Casanova "further stipulated" that he was an organizer or leader "of a criminal activity that involved five or more participants and he agreed to traffic at least 100 kilograms of marijuana."

In a statement, attorney James Kousouros said the government dismissed more serious charges as part of the plea, according to USA Today. Kousouros added that the rapper "has accepted responsibility fully and respectfully and we hope that the court will consider all the facts and circumstances."

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Senior faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison at sentencing on Dec. 6. Prosecutors are expected to ask for a higher term. The maximum prison sentence for the two counts is 60 years.