Opening statements in the trial of Jimmy "Henchman" Rosemond were heard yesterday in a Brooklyn Federal Court. The hip hop exec, who managed artists including Game, Brandy, Akon, Sean Kingston and others, was indicted last year on 13 counts related to running a $10 million bi-coastal cocaine ring.
A multiracial jury of men and women heard arguments from both sides. Prosecutors laid out a case that Rosemond, 47, organized an intricate system that involved shipping large amounts of cocaine in music instrument cases from L.A. to New York via UPS and FedEx, according to reports from AllHipHop and The New York Times. Additionally, prosecutors said Rosemond used his company, Czar Entertainment, to launder money from his drug organization. Police are said to have intercepted massive bundles of cash linked to Rosemond ranging in quantity from $400,000 to $800,000.
Rosemond's lawyer, Gerald Shargel, said that the prosecution had built its case on the testimony of witnesses who had incentive to lie. Shargel pointed out that several witnesses for the prosecution who are either in prison or facing jail time stand to win reduced sentences by cooperating with the state. He said his client never touched a kilo of cocaine and regularly dealt with large quantities of cash in his capacity as manager to the stars.
The trial is expected to continue for weeks.
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(Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)