Rapper Casanova pleads guilty in NYC drug conspiracy case

NEW YORK (AP) — The rapper Casanova pleaded guilty to charges in a gang-related federal racketeering case that accused him of drug dealing and robbery, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

The performer, whose legal name is Caswell Senior, was charged in a 2020 indictment against more than a dozen other members of the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation gang.

Senior, 35, admitted to participating in offenses including a robbery in New York City and to conspiring to traffic marijuana, prosecutors said. He had surrendered in 2020.

The defendant “now stands convicted of playing a leadership role in Gorilla Stone, a particularly violent Bloods gang that operates throughout New York and across the country,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in statement.

Defense attorney James Kousouros said the government dismissed more serious charges as part of the plea. The robbery occurred at a diner where his client “asked a young lady to stop taping him and taunting him,” Kousouros added.

Senior, of Montville, New Jersey, “has accepted responsibility fully and respectfully and we hope that the court will consider all the facts and circumstances,” the lawyer said.

Raised in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, Casanova was known in recent years for hits like “Don’t Run” and “Set Trippin.” He had been signed to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label and released a full-length album called “Behind These Scars.”

Senior faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison at sentencing on Dec. 6. Prosecutors are expected to ask for a higher term.