See our story about how former L.A. Times reporter Chuck Philips' report on Rosamond and the Tupac Shakur beating that sparked the East-Coast-West Coast rap wars led to his journalistic demise, perhaps wrongly so. Also, a timeline of the Tupac-Biggie-L.A. Times saga.
A hip-hop impresario alleged to have had a role in the 1994 attack on rapper Tupac Shakur that set off the East Coast-West Coast rap wars of the '90s was arrested in New York this morning by federal agents who claim he is the leader an L.A.-to-NYC coke ring.
James Rosemond, a.k.a. Jimmy Henchman, was collared after a foot chase near Park Avenue and 21st Street in Manhattan, a federal official told the Weekly.
The man who manages L.A. gangsta rapper The Game had been hiding out not far away at the W Hotel, we were told.
A federal affidavit in support of his arrest warrant alleges Rosemond conspired to distribute at least five kilos of cocaine.
DEA and IRS agents believe the 46-year-old shipped cocaine from L.A. to New York via FedEx and UPS and then sent mustard-covered cash — to throw contraband-sniffing canines off — back to L.A.
Feds called Rosemond the “principal leader” of the organization and say he had his hand in the distribution of hundreds of kilos since 2008.
Agents say associates have snitched on Rosemond, ironic given that he was a leader of hip-hop's “no snitch” movement. At least two of those informants were based in L.A., according to the federal indictment against Rosemond.
Feds also say documents, wire taps and other evidence leads to the rap game player.
Rosemond was at the heart of controversial reporting in the Los Angeles Times in 2008 about the alleged ambush on Shakur outside a New York recording studio in 1994, one that the Times said Rosemond orchestrated because the rapper wouldn't take him on as his manager.
(Rosemond's attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman denies that Rosemond had anything to do with the attack and roundly criticized the Times' article).
That Times report was retracted but recently a Rosemond associate named Dexter Isaac confessed to having taken part in the attack and seemed to corroborate the Times' reporting.
Rosemond has also been linked in reports to an alleged murder of an associate of rapper 50 Cent, mortal enemy of The Game. New York magazine:
Rodney Johnson and Brian McCleod, have been accused of murdering Lowell Fletcher, an associate of 50 Cent, in an attack allegedly paid for by Rosemond.
Rosemond was due in federal court in Brooklyn this afternoon in connection with the drug case.
Update: According to various reports Rosemond was remanded/held without bail following a court appearance Tuesday afternoon.
First posted at 12:37 p.m. on June 21.