If you've seen or talked to dapper rapper Slick Rick lately, chances are it wasn't the real Ricky Walters. Police in Raleigh, North Carolina, arrested 28-year-old Steven Glenn last Thursday and charged him with six counts of fraud for impersonating Rick.
The real Rick — currently in jail awaiting a judge's decision on his possible deportation to England — found out about the identity-jacking through his wife, Mandy Aragones, who notified officials when she got wind of Glenn's alleged activities, said Rick's spokesperson, Bill Adler.
Glenn is accused of three counts of forgery, two counts of obtaining property under false pretenses and one count of identity theft, all of them tied to his alleged attempts to impersonate the rapper, according to Lt. John Lynch of the Raleigh Police Department.
Glenn is alleged to have rerouted Rick's mail to his home in Raleigh last year after filing a change of address form and also of using FedEx to send packages to New York in Rick's name, charging the shipments to Rick's production company, Lynch said. Rick's staff caught wind of the missing mail within a week and contacted New York postal authorities, who worked with Raleigh Police to crack the case.
Among his other alleged crimes are registering a car, receiving medical care and answering his phone as Rick. The rapper's wife said Glenn got especially cheeky when he called her at home and told her that Rick was no longer incarcerated, but was in North Carolina in need of some help with music for his next album. "He may have a mental instability to where he believes he is this individual," Lt. Lynch said.
Aragones also claims that Glenn attempted to rent an apartment in Maryland and forged checks in the rapper's name. She said that he deposited Rick's royalty checks in his personal account and then attempted to withdraw the funds. Police could not yet confirm those allegations. Adler said Glenn even boosted Rick's signature early '90s gold-chains-and-eye-patch look. "He wanted to be Slick Rick because Ricky is fabulous," Adler said.
Aragones was tipped off to Glenn's alleged activities in November and worked with authorities in an attempt to stop the identity theft before it got out of control, Adler said. She could not be reached for comment at press time.
Hip-hop hall of famer Rick, 37, born in England and raised in the Bronx, has spent the past 10 months in INS detention in Florida, narrowly escaping deportation in December when New York U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood granted a stay while she considers his case (see "Judge Puts Last-Minute Hold On Slick Rick's Deportation").
U.S. immigration law requires the automatic deportation of foreign nationals who serve more than five years for a felony conviction; Walters served five years and 12 days on an attempted murder conviction. He was arrested in Miami last June and has been held in detention ever since (see "Slick Rick In Jail, Facing Deportation").
"The judge has had the information for more than a month and we're just waiting," Adler said of several briefs filed on Rick's behalf by, among others, Congressman John Conyers of Michigan. "A decision could come any day. He's aware of [the identity theft] but he wasn't able to do anything from inside prison."