More than four months after federal investigators searched the New York offices of Murder Inc. Records, an arrest has been made in connection with their findings and newly unsealed court documents have revealed just what suspicions prompted the raid.
Last week, following the stakeout of a house in Encino, California, U.S. Marshals arrested Dexter Ottley, Murder Inc.'s director of radio promotions, and charged him with possession of a firearm by a felon. Also arrested at the time was Murder Inc. artist Caddillac Tah, who was not charged and was later released.
But while Ottley may be the only person arrested from the Murder Inc. family thus far, he might not be the last. In a 32-page affidavit filed in U.S. District Court in January, an IRS special agent details some of the evidence that feds have compiled in their ongoing investigation of convicted drug lord Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff and his relationship with Murder Inc.
The document charges that McGriff, who has a storied past as the leader of infamous New York drug cartel the Supreme Team, is the "true owner" of Murder Inc., while CEO Irv Gotti is merely the "public face" of the highly successful label. Supporting that theory are allegations that McGriff was paid by Murder Inc. under a false name, that he conducted illegal activity using Murder Inc. travel funds and a Def Jam two-way pager, and that McGriff was directly involved in the 2000 shooting of rapper 50 Cent, who is described as having written "a song exposing McGriff's criminal activities."
Investigators compiled evidence ranging from Supreme's business bank records, all of his two-way messages from the past three years, travel records, surveillance and even the testimony of two confidential witnesses. One of the witnesses is said to have observed McGriff's comings and goings within the Murder Inc. offices.
The court affidavit was filed in order to get permission to freeze McGriff's business accounts. The investigation of McGriff and Murder Inc. is still ongoing and neither McGriff nor Gotti has been charged with anything (see "Drugs, Friends & Allegations: Inside The Murder Inc. Raid").
Meanwhile, the incredible scrutiny of federal agents seems to have had an effect on Murder Inc.'s music. According to Murder Inc. artist Blackchild, an apparent slip up on Ja Rule's recent anti-50 Cent track "Loose Change" was more calculated than clumsy. Blackchild insisted to MTV News that when Ja raps, "50, you gon' get shot again by the M-U-R-E-D-R Inc.," he misspells the name of his label in order to avoid making a self-incriminating statement.