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Tsu Surf Receives Five-Year Prison Sentence in RICO Case

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Rapper Tsu Surf, whose real name is Rahjon Cox, has been sentenced to five years in prison as part of a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) case that implicated him and 41 other individuals in organized crime.

The Newark, New Jersey artist took a plea deal earlier this year, admitting guilt to charges of conspiracy and possession of firearms and ammunition as a convicted felon.

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U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton has ruled that Surf must serve the full five-year sentence without the possibility of parole, as federal prisons do not offer parole.

In addition to the prison term, Tsu Surf will undergo three years of supervised release and faces a fine of $15,000.

Facing four charges, including conspiracy to violate the RICO Act, the rapper could have been sentenced to up to 30 years in prison. However, he initially pleaded not guilty.

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Tsu Surf was alleged to be associated with the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips, accused of engaging in drug dealing, illegal possession of firearms, and street conflicts.

During the case, prosecutors claimed that Surf joined the gang in 2015 and was involved in a shooting incident two years later. It was alleged that in March 2017, he shot at, but did not hit, a member of the rival Rollin’ 47 Neighborhood Crips. Despite being a convicted felon, Surf was found in possession of two firearms.

The prosecution also asserted that Tsu Surf held a “leadership role” within the gang.

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During the 2023 MTV VMAs, Wyclef Jean called for Tsu Surf’s release from prison, expressing support for the incarcerated rapper. Joe Budden, a friend of Surf, shared conflicted feelings about the situation, contemplating the responsibility of Black men in the country.

“I’ll be honest, for me I’m a little conflicted on how I feel about it,” said Budden. “Cuz like Black men in this country, I’m trying to see what part I’m responsible for. With this being my man and with me being older and just knowing a little more. But the truth is, there’s nothing you could do.” He added, “You just keep running the shit back to see what maybe you could have done differently or said differently to end in a different result.”