October 15th, 2010
09:15 PM ET

Feds bust major marijuana operation, agency says

Kareem "Biggs" Burke, a founder of rapper Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records, was among those arrested.

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.


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Filed under: Crime • Drugs
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. wake up

    ICE should be enforcing and deporting illegals,then wasting my tax dollars busting weed growers,they complain they dont have the man power to do their job I see why,they doing the FBI job.big gov,waste of taxpayers if they are doing the same job.

    October 16, 2010 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. wake up


    October 16, 2010 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. only

    Legalize weed,tax it like a sin tax.make money instead of wasting it.opium and cocaine are used for painkillers,like oxycotin,morphine,percets,ty codaine.u didnt know,wow where were u educated?

    October 16, 2010 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • The dumb weed whacker!

      Mmmm...you mean by stop wasting, the cartel should front some money in the recycling business? Oh, Deputy Eric Holden...we just gotther another tip! The garbagemen and the disposal manager's dumpsites are in the
      we-eeed bizzness!

      October 16, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. Odin

    Legalize it, don't criticize it
    Legalize it, and I will advertise it
    Legalize it, that's the best thing you can do.

    October 16, 2010 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  5. shasta

    Well, once again i see the stupidness the the ignorant have. i have been puffin for 18 years. i have not ever used other drugs, i dont even drink. oh, most people i know dont either. so your " gateway drug" theory is retarted. like you. cali is gonna legelize it next month. watch and learn how the pot smokers saved the california economy. wash and oregon will do it next year. dummy.

    October 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • jake

      very well said shasta

      October 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • The dumb weed whacker!

      Shasta is an anomally...ohooo, deputy Eric Holden...we have one of those yuppie, spending his parent's money buppie, hillbilly...buzzing about his we-eeeeeed!

      October 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tomcat

    yeah have that legal energy drink smoke some legal synthetic weed (inscence) and say hello ER. no mr weed they call it hydro cause it likes to swim

    October 16, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jake

    hey weed whacker don't you have somewhere eles you need to go?

    October 16, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. tomcat

    i know that this may make me a bad dad but when my kids asked about weed and alcohol guess who got it for them to try? Me did they go on to doing harder drugs no. did they further their lives through college and trade schools yes. to this day my relationship with my kids is great

    October 16, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • jake

      i don't think that makes you a bad dad, really a pretty smart person.

      October 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. You Dumb weed whacker!

    So when your kids asked about the birds n the bees, the flower and the trees; you got'em the callin' girls and a unhealthy dose of STDs??? Ohoo...Umma tell! Deputy Eric Holden...we gother another dealer marketing to ju-vies!

    October 16, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Melissa

    If you legalize it, it will hurt the cartels moron (weed whacker). It grows like a weed. Right in your own back yard... It will put the cartels out of business (well, there are still a lot of Americans who do real drugs... Cocain heroin etc. Weed is just a harmless herb). But it will hurt the business. It won't be so easy for kids to get it if it's regulated. Alchohol is a far more dangerous drug! When will this country see marijuana for what it is? The drug companies would have a fit. Don't forget, they are the ones lobbying too. How dare we want safe and natural medicine that we can grow ourselves when they can feed us addictive chemicals, which cause damage to your organs, which causes you to need to take more pills. Drug free America my ass! Drug companies are feeding us the drugs to keep themselves filthy rich. Disgusting.

    October 16, 2010 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Melissa

    Shame on you CNN for censoring the truth! What was so wrong about saying its the drug companies that are keeping America one drugs??? Legalize it! Make it harder for my kids to buy it! Allow people to grow their own medicine rather than spending a fortune to make the insurance companies and drug companies billionaires! Hurt the cartels business by growing our product rather than criminals buying theirs! It's simple solution.

    October 16, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dave

    ok i am about tired of "thedumb weed whacker" and his ignorant rhetoric, first off you judge marijuana users as bad, when in reality marijuana has killed fewer people than most items and substances available- take alcohol poisoning as an example
    due to the fact that it is so easy to consume( you could down a bottle of jack in one sitting and then fall over dead) alcohol poisoning has killed around 50,000 this year, that is more than people killed with fire arms this year. also marijuana has proven that it provides a form of relief that is instant, long lasting( because it is stronger), and so far less addictive than opiate based painkillers. and you also fail to realize that the prohibition of drugs has led to a lucrative industry that harvest's billions a year, the know very well of the dangers and the DEA's attempts to stop them so they ship excess amounts so that supply is nice and steady. since nixion's1971's war on drugs illicit drugs have become more available, cheaper and stronger. the war on drug is a complete and total failure and those who support it either have invested interest in it or favor a diet of propaganda and stupidity for their decisions- weed whacker i don't presume you are in the business of firearms, body armor, or prosecution- so sit down and stfu

    October 17, 2010 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  13. tomcat

    i talked to my kids after posting they were afraid of what people would say about me. my 7 month old granddaughter said it bes t. blah goo goo goo. in my mind it was pops just keep tellin the truth. if i can help my kids by understanding what they were facing years ago get involved with yours now. the schools churches and social programs dont take place of most parents

    October 17, 2010 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
    • You Dumb weed whacker!

      First, you don't have to place the hand on the stove to know its hot...
      Second, your mental status and your charismatic gift of interpreting baby babble needs tweaking!

      October 17, 2010 at 4:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. tomcat

    what is your point dave?

    October 17, 2010 at 1:07 am | Report abuse |
    • You Dumb weed whacker!

      @Dave and @Melissa must be the owners of dem closed medicinal weed shops! Seems like they wanna dry run their notions with CNN's Blog before delivering their Colbert's testimonial to dem congressional hearings...Ohoo! Deputy Eric Holden, we got two of dem drug dealing dons here needin' invitations to congress...so they can fuss about their we-eeeed!

      October 17, 2010 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
  15. tomcat

    anyone? i fear this thread is done as many others whether you agree or not there are many social issues afoot that need to be addressed.

    October 17, 2010 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
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