If you've never heard of rapper/producer "The Hard Money Lender," don't worry, neither have we.
But his days ballin' as a Los Angeles rap mogul may have come to an end since federal authorities are ordering him to turn over about $25 million worth of assets they say were acquired through an elaborate, drug-trafficking operation authorities believe spanned nearly a decade.
On Friday, an indictment was unsealed alleging that "The Lender," a.k.a. 34-year-old Rickey Lamont Colley, Jr, a.k.a. "Mr. Rikk," and five others were behind a drug-trafficking ring that moved more than 34 tons of weed from Phoenix to places like Los Angeles, Michigan, and Georgia over a nine-year period.
"This individual portrayed himself as a legitimate music producer, but
this investigation revealed much more about his industry: criminal
enterprise that sold poison and addiction," says DEA Special Agent in
Charge Elizabeth Kempshall.
"Poison and addiction?" It was weed, lady, not meth.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The indictment alleges Colley, along with Anthony Eugene Jackson, 42, of
Mableton, Georgia, Genairo Eline Higgins, 33, of Alpharetta, Georgia,
Sylvester Demetrius Thomas, 39, of Detroit, Michigan, and Michael Lee
White, 44, of Ontario, California, used tractor-trailers to haul weed
from Phoenix to the various locations across the country.
Aside from the possibility of getting locked up for the rest of their
lives, federal authorities already have seized about $1.6 million in
cash and intend to seize an additional $23.4 million in cash and other
gangsta goodies, like $330,000 in bling, a 2007 Ferrari Scaglietti worth
approximately $350,000, a 2006 Saleen Mustang worth approximately
$70,000, a 2011 Jaguar worth approximately $140,000, a 2006 Maserati
Quattroporte worth approximately $120,000, a 2003 Range Rover worth
approximately $60,000, a 2002 Mercedes G500 worth approximately $80,000,
a custom luxury van worth approximately $100,000, $200,000 in shares of
stock in a cruise line company, and two houses and a condominium in
The indictment charges the six defendants with conspiracy to possess
with the intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana, conspiracy to commit
promotional money-laundering, and conspiracy to commit concealment money-laundering.
If convicted, the men face the possibility of life in prison, a $4 million fine, or both.