Casanova has finally receive his prison sentence after two years since his arrest in connection with gang-related crimes in a racketeering case.
On Tuesday, the Brooklyn rapper (real name Caswell Senior) received a prison sentence of 188 months, which is equivalent to 15 years behind bars. The charges against him include a shooting in Florida on July 5, 2020, a robbery in New York City on August 5, 2018, and conspiracy to traffic over 100 kilograms of marijuana.
“Caswell Senior is not just a notorious recording artist, but he is also a high-profile leader of a vicious street gang and a magnet for gang violence,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a press release. “At a crowded Miami house party, Senior personally fired a gun that seriously injured and could have killed a victim, inciting a shootout.
He continued: “Further, Senior’s stature in the community was central to Gorilla Stone’s successful recruitment and nationwide expansion. Today’s sentencing — along with the other significant sentences that have been imposed in this case — shows once again that gang life is not worth it and will lead to many years in prison.”
Casanova becomes the 12th defendant in the racketeering case to be sentenced, with five additional defendants having pleaded guilty and currently awaiting their own sentencing.
Earlier this month, Casanova wrote a letter to the judge, expressing his desire for leniency from the legal system.
In the letter, Casanova declared that he has distanced himself from the Gorilla Stone Nation Gang and revealed that he has battled suicidal thoughts while being in prison.
“I am telling you and anyone that will listen that I wanted out before I was arrested and I am out. I learned through my music career that people will listen and that I don’t need to associate myself with a gang to succeed. I don’t need to associate with a gang even if I don’t succeed,” he wrote.
“While I have been in here I lost my father to cancer. While I put on that strong facade, all I wanted to do was end it. Surviving on Rikers Island and upstate correctional facilities were not easy with racial and gang tension and violence at its height.”
Casanova continued: “I thought I needed to stay in the life in name because it was a way to promote my career. I don’t care what the government tells you. I am telling you the truth. I was not involved in the daily activities of this gang. I wasn’t anyone’s boss.
“What I was and I regret this was a person that they could use to promote themselves in a world I swear to you I was trying to leave. I clearly did not do a good enough job of this as I did find myself in one bad situation after another.”
Casanova has been in prison since December 2020. He was among 18 individuals accused of being part of the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation gang and involved in a large drug conspiracy RICO case.
Although he maintained his innocence, Casanova ultimately pleaded guilty to two counts in May 2022: racketeering conspiracy and narcotics conspiracy.
According to a report from Rolling Stone at the time, Casanova was moved to accept the prosecutors’ offer after someone essentially snitched on him.
Casanova was facing a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 60 years in prison. It is possible that his letter had an impact, as he received the minimum sentence allowed by the law.