Casanova pleads guilty to drug and racketeering charges on Wednesday.
The New York rapper is looking at a prison sentence of between 5-60 years in jail after pleading guilty to charges in his RICO case. On December 1, 2020, federal prosecutors named Casanova, whose real name is Caswell Senior, as one of 18 alleged members of a New York criminal enterprise called Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation Gang in a RICO indictment.
Casanova was alleged to have used his position as an artist to benefit the gang and basically funded one of the gang’s founders Dwight Reid who is presently serving 50 years to life in prison for murder.
Casanova was charged with two counts in the RICO case- racketeering conspiracy and narcotics conspiracy, which he pleaded guilty to on Wednesday when he appeared at the White Plains Federal Court in New York City.
The details of the charges are that he was allegedly involved in a shooting in July 2020 in Florida and a robbery that took place in August 2018 in New York City. He also admitted to trafficking more than 100 kilograms of marijuana for the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation Bloods Gang that operates in Westchester County, New York City, and Florida.
According to NBC4 NY, on Wednesday, the rapper not only admitted and explained his involvement in the crimes he was accused of, but he also told the presiding judge Philip M. Halpern that he was placed on suicide watch while in jail.
“They put me on suicide watch a couple of days ago,” he told the judge. “[It’s a] holding cell where you wear a smock and stuff.”
“Are you comfortable today?” Halpern asked. “Very comfortable, your honour,” the rapper said.
He was not on any medication, but the rapper admitted that he was previously hospitalized for mental health issues in the past, noting that as a teenager, he attempted suicide several times and has also been committed to a mental institution in Manhattan before.
“As a result of those [hospitalizations], did you receive treatment?” Halpern asked. “Yes, I did.”
“Is your mind clear today, Mr. Senior?” the judge asked, given that his plea by law has to be of his own free will with a clear mind free of any mental illness or duress from prosecutors or other forces at play.
“Yes, your honor,” he said.
Casanova, however, said he wanted to plead guilty voluntarily, and he is aware that his plea does not guarantee a lesser sentence. Among the evidence prosecutors said they had against him were social media evidence of him next to the marijuana in question, communication with Gorilla Stone members, and intercepted conversations between gang members from prison discussing him and his ways of operating.
While admitting to the offenses, he spoke about plotting with Gorilla Stone members to commit crimes, specifically “to possess and sell” 100 kilos of marijuana. The rapper said he had been part of the gang since 2007.
Senior also admitted to the robbery at a New York diner in 2018, where he snatched a woman’s phone after she began recording him, supposedly to expose him to his wife while he was out with a group of women.
Casanova also admitted to another incident in Florida where a gun went off.
“I was invited to a mansion party with my wife and a couple other friends,” Senior said, adding shortly thereafter, “It was not business.”
He said the incident was sparked by a gambling dispute after he lost the game.
“I lost my money, $2,000, and I paid a person. I paid him the money I was supposed to pay the table, and he basically pocketed the money.” He, however, denied firing the gun, saying it was a “tussle” that led to the firearm going off.
Meanwhile, Casanova reportedly cut a deal for his guilty plea and that prosecutors will recommend his sentence be between 5 – 20 years in prison, with a mandatory minimum of five years.
There’s no guarantee that judges might heed the prosecutor’s recommendations as federal cases operate differently from the state system.
Casanova’s sentencing is set for December 6.