Officials raided Murder Inc.'s recording studio, nicknamed "The Crackhouse," on Friday in addition to searching the label's midtown Manhattan offices, music industry sources said Monday.
A joint task force of federal investigators and NYPD officers searched the locations as part of a probe looking into alleged ties between Murder Inc. and convicted drug lord Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff (see [article id="1459376"]"Murder Inc. Offices Raided By Feds"[/article]).
According to the FBI, no one was arrested during the raids, but two men have been arrested elsewhere in connection with the larger investigation. The two are suspected to be associates of McGriff, but it is not known whether they are also involved with Murder Inc., the hip-hop/R&B label home to artists such as Ja Rule and Ashanti.
While fans of Murder Inc.'s music may be unfamiliar with McGriff, the Queens native co-wrote and executive produced the 2001 straight-to-video street drama "Crime Partners 2000," which starred a number of hip-hop artists, including Murder Inc.'s own Ja Rule and Charli Baltimore.
The movie is an adaptation of the Donald Goines novel "Crime Partners," which McGriff read while in jail on drug charges. According to documents from the United States District Court, McGriff was the leader of Jamaica, Queens, street gang the Supreme Team and oversaw a crack cocaine distribution ring that earned $200,000 a day. He was convicted of narcotics conspiracy in 1987 and spent 10 years in federal prison before being released on a technicality.
McGriff is reportedly awaiting sentencing on a 2001 gun possession charge that may send him to jail for another five years.
Ja Rule refused to comment on the matter Monday while visiting MTV to appear on "TRL." Murder Inc. and its parent companies Def Jam Records and the Universal Music Group also declined to comment.