According to nola.com, B.G. pleaded guilty yesterday to being a felon in possession of a firearm and witness tampering stemming from a 2009 traffic stop and could face up to 40 years in prison.
Read the full story after the jump!
As he introduces the video for his song “I Ain’t Tellin,” hip-hop superstar B.G. sits in a luxury vehicle with a rapper colleague, bemoaning the state of street culture. “This f–king ratting s–t, man, this s–t here is getting out of hand,” B.G. says. “Man, it’s called T-Y-C. Take Your Charge.”
On Wednesday morning, B.G. — also known as Christopher Dorsey — did exactly that.
Clad in an orange jail jumpsuit, his hands shackled and his lawyer by his side, Dorsey stood before U.S. District Court Judge Ginger Berrigan.
“Are you a rapper?” she asked.
The 31-year-old New Orleans man with an international fan base nodded and said quietly, “Yes.”
Asked whether he was guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm and witness tampering, Dorsey again answered in the affirmative. But prosecutors made clear there is no plea agreement or deal in place.
In other words, the rapper whose songs and videos have underscored the “no snitch” mantra is remaining true to his word.
By pleading guilty, Dorsey admitted to certain facts. Some of the guns confiscated from a vehicle in a November 2009 traffic stop were his. And as a convicted felon, he shouldn’t have had those guns. In addition, he acknowledged that he conspired with a pal to get an associate in that car, 20-year-old Demounde Pollard, to sign an affidavit falsely claiming ownership of them.
In court documents tied to his guilty plea, the allegations go further. Federal prosecutors paint Dorsey as having ties to other local high-profile criminals. The names of some of this city’s most notorious alleged murderers — Telly Hankton and Michael Anderson — are listed on those documents. Prosecutors make clear that they know about online videos in which Dorsey brags about crimes, name-checks his criminal associates and demands that law enforcement free them.
“We dislike some of the spin” in the federal filings, Dorsey’s attorney, J.C. Lawrence, told the judge Wednesday.
Later, outside of court, Lawrence, who calls B.G. “Mr. Dorsey,” explained that his client makes use of artistic license. He said Dorsey has a certain appearance and style he must maintain as a rapper. Videos are marketing, he said, and marketing means financial gains.
Just because someone has a gun in a video doesn’t mean it’s real, he said. And just because someone talks about drugs, death and murder doesn’t mean they deal in that business, he said.
“And there are things that are taken out of context on the videos,” Lawrence added.
In one video, Dorsey looks straight into the camera and offers a lecture on the city’s most well-known convicted killer.
“Free my n—a Telly Hankton, ya heard me. One of the realest n—-s in the city,” Dorsey says.
Hankton, recently convicted in one murder and serving a life sentence, has been called Public Enemy No. 1 by local police and prosecutors, who have alleged that he ran a sprawling drug empire whose markets were enforced with violence. He is currently awaiting trial on another murder.
“They hating on him right now,” Dorsey says of Hankton. “You know what I’m saying, they got him all over the news and s–t, ya know, Witnesses come up dead and s–t. Man in jail. he post a million-dollar bond. Now they don’t want to give n—a another bond because they know the man gonna make the bond.”
At this point in the video, Dorsey turns and shouts to a man sitting in a nearby sport utility vehicle: Walter Porter, murder suspect.
“Say, Moonie, you know what it is baby, you heard me, it’s all good in the hood,” Dorsey shouts.
“Free my dog Telly. Let him go. Y’all can’t stop him. He didn’t do it,” Porter says,
Porter is currently in jail, accused of killing the brother of John Matthews, one of two key witnesses who identified Telly Hankton as the gunman in a 2008 murder. In October, following Hankton’s conviction, Curtis Matthews was gunned down outside John Matthews’ daiquiri shop, allegedly as payback for his brother’s testimony. Police have said they believe Porter has ties to the Hankton family, but declined to elaborate on the link.
Dorsey’s attorney, Lawrence, also represents Porter. He said last month that there’s no connection between Porter and Hankton.
Following Porter’s appearance in the video, the camera pans to Jerod Fedison. Fedison, a convicted felon and former co-defendant in Dorsey’s case, has been a suspect in several murders, according to New Orleans police records. He was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison last month on charges similar to that Dorsey pleaded to Wednesday.
In court, unlike in his videos, Dorsey was calm, reserved, soft-spoken. He answered “Yes, ma’am,” and “No, ma’am.” Gone was the swagger of the hip-hop legend who gained fame as a young teen, an original member of the Hot Boys, a late-1990s rap group with a roster of big-name rappers such as Lil Wayne, Juvenile and Young Turk.
He released countless albums and mix tapes throughout his 15-year career. He became chief executive officer of Chopper City Records, a Metairie-based label. His most recent album, “Too Hood 2 Be Hollywood,” came out in December 2009 on Atlantic Records. His manager did not return a request for comment.
Now, he faces a prison stint that could stretch 40 years. He knew this was coming. His court cases have become fodder for his songs. He opines about his legal woes in his song, “Guilty By Association.” In it, he expresses the hope that the “feds won’t pick up his case” and says he is unfairly targeted.
But it’s too late for that now. The next step is his sentencing on March 14. In this case, as in almost any criminal case, a defendant’s cooperation is the best way to reduce the length of a prison stint.
Whether he’ll do that is unclear. If his music provides a clue, he won’t. Here’s the way he laid it out in “I Ain’t Tellin”:
“I won’t snitch, never tell, if the law comes and get me, I’m gonna sit my ass in jail.”