Â Kareem âBiggsâ Burke, former business partner of Jay-Z and co-founder of Roc-A-Fella Records, has pled guilty to drug charges, reportsÂ NorthJersey.com.
Burke, who was allegedly part of a massive pot trafficking ring, spoke before U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in Manhattan on Thursday (March 16) andÂ pled guilty to a single count of conspiracy to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.
As a result of the plea, the 38-year-old rap mogul, who helped launched the career of Jay-Z,Â faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and up to 40 years in prison when he returns to court on May 18. Under his plea agreement, Burke is also required to forfeit $660,000, his residence, $15,000 in cash that was seized from his home when he was arrested last year, and his 2010 BMW.
Burke was one of more than 50 people arrested in late 2010 for their connection to a marijuana trafficking ring that distributed drugs from South Florida to New York. The 18-month investigation, dubbed âOperation Green Venom,â was conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcementâs Homeland Security and the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from police agencies in New Jersey, New York, Florida, Maryland and North Carolina.
Authorities seized nearly $2 million and more than 260 pounds of marijuana during the bust. A raid on Burkeâs residence in New Jersey reportedly produced the remains of a marijuana growing operation and $15,000 in cash.
Burke started Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay-Z andÂ Damon Dash in the 1990s. The trio parted ways in 2004.