Federal agents capped a two-year investigation Friday with dozens of arrests they say have broken open a marijuana smuggling operation that "dominated" the New York market for two decades, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement announced.
Among those arrested were Kareem "Biggs" Burke, a founder of rapper Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records, and High Times magazine ad salesman Matthew "Magazine Guy" Stang, ICE said.
"These criminal organizations have allegedly dominated the illegal marijuana market in New York City for almost 20 years," said Special Agent in Charge James T. Hayes, Jr. "The high profile stature of some of the alleged members of these organizations is especially troubling."
ICE said that the suspected leader of the organization, Manuel Geovanny Rodriguez-Perez, was also arrested. Rodriguez-Perez was heard discussing violent acts on intercepted telephone calls, including a threat to "hunt" a customer who was late paying for marijuana, the agency said.