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Rap Label Associate Linked to Drug Find

May 29, 2003|Chuck Philips | Times Staff Writer

Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, the convicted drug lord associated with Vivendi Universal's Murder Inc. music joint venture, was linked to large quantities of crack and heroin and $30,000 in cash seized from a narcotics stash house in Maryland, according to a federal sentencing memo obtained Wednesday.

The document, filed in federal court in Baltimore, contends that authorities found McGriff's fingerprints at the house during a police raid in 2001. It also reveals that the government is investigating his possible involvement in a series of East Coast murders dating back to 2001, including a double homicide in front of the house in Owings Mills, Md.

An attorney for McGriff and a spokesman for Vivendi's Island Def Jam label couldn't be reached for comment late Wednesday. Murder Inc. is a co-venture with Island Def Jam.

Among other things, the memo states that during the raid authorities recovered a variety of items related to "Crime Partners," a film that was co-produced by McGriff and stars such Murder Inc. artists as Ja Rule and Charlie Baltimore.

Federal officials believe that McGriff created the film to launder proceeds from drug trafficking in Maryland and other states.

A federal task force is investigating the finances of Murder Inc. and its relationship with McGriff, whose Supreme Team drug gang allegedly dominated the crack cocaine trade in a Queens, N.Y., housing project during the 1980s.

McGriff is in jail in Baltimore awaiting sentencing on a federal parole violation for shooting a gun at a Maryland firing range. It is against the law for a felon on parole to fire a weapon.

The sentencing memo contends that authorities in the raid also recovered a certificate of completion from a handgun training course issued to McGriff under an alias. The memo also contends that McGriff visited the firing range several times a week, firing more than $300 in ammunition from an array of weapons, including a machine gun.

McGriff, who also is awaiting sentencing on a separate state gun charge, could not be reached for comment.

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