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DJ Stashman

U.S. Says Interscope Records Used in Cocaine Ring

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The record company that distributes the music of U2 and Lady Gaga was used by a drug-trafficking ring as a way station for cases stuffed with cocaine and vacuum-packed $20 bills, according to federal prosecutors.

The allegation was contained in a letter detailing evidence against James Rosemond, a music-industry manager who was indicted in June on drug-trafficking and related charges. Mr. Rosemond, who goes by the nickname "Jimmy Henchmen," has been in custody since shortly after his indictment.

His lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, said he hasn't sought bail for his client, but denied the charges against him. Mr. Lichtman said he hadn't reviewed the evidence laid out in the prosecutors' Sept. 12 "discovery letter," which, like the 20-count indictment, was filed with the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The letter doesn't assert that employees of Interscope Records, a division of Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group and one of the biggest record labels in the world, knew of or were involved in the alleged drug shipments. A Universal Music spokesman had no immediate comment.

According to the filing, between January 2010 and June 2011, members of Mr. Rosemond's organization used "road cases" made for musical equipment to send cocaine from Los Angeles to New York. On return trips, the same kinds of cases were stuffed with hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, the filing said. The filing was reported Thursday by the Smoking Gun news website.

The cases were shipped by Rockit Cargo Ltd., which specializes in transporting music gear, though the filing didn't claim the shipper was aware of the containers' contents. Rockit's general counsel, Roberta Yang, declined to comment.

The letter doesn't detail how members of Mr. Rosemond's organization were believed to have gotten access to Interscope's Los Angeles-area headquarters to drop off and retrieve the shipments.

Among the acts managed by Mr. Rosemond and his firm, Czar Entertainment, is the Game, a rapper who is signed to Interscope Records, according to the firm's website.

The ring allegedly used a recording studio in New York at the other end of the drug and cash shipments.

Interscope Chairman Jimmy Iovine, long a high-profile executive within the music industry, has recently become something of a household name thanks to "American Idol," which he joined last season to provide creative guidance to contestants.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904491704576573192188385826.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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