(AllHipHop News) Yesterday (May 17) marked the fourth day of testimony in the trial of James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond, who is currently facing a life sentence, for allegedly heading up a $10 million-a-year cocaine operation.
Federal prosecutors and the DEA accuse Rosemond of masterminding a drug operation that imported hundreds of kilos of cocaine into the New York area and sent the proceeds to the West Coast.
Rosemond has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Yesterday (May 17) in court, Rosemond’s alleged main cocaine connect, Henry “Black” Butler took the stand.
Butler, who appeared in his green prison jumpsuit, is facing 10 years-to-life in prison, after being charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, a firearms possession violation, and getting caught with hundreds of ecstasy tabs.
Henry Butler is a Los Angeles gang member, who was arrested in 2010, in Thousand Oaks, California, for his role in the cocaine operation.
Butler, who is married to the sister of Hollywood director Lee Daniels, told prosecutors that James Rosemond was his biggest cocaine customer.
Butler said that he owned an urban event planning company (Mogul Media Group) and had known Rosemond for over 18 years, since 1994.
At that time, Butler said he was working as a road manager for various artists and Rosemond was managing acts as well. The pair was also partnered in the legendary “How Can I Be Down” conferences of the 1990′s.
Their relationship turned into criminal activities in 1995, when Rosemond began ordering hundreds-of-pounds of marijuana from Butler.
The marijuana orders soon turned into small orders of cocaine later that year.
In 1995, Butler said he and Rosemond began selling 2 to 10 kilograms of cocaine in various frequencies, supplied from a connection Butler identified as a man named Adolpho Guzmán.
The cocaine was first sent to Rosemond to New York in a variety of means before they perfected the shipping method.
At first, Butler and an associate would go to Best Buy and buy computer routers, unseal the packages, put the kilos of cocaine inside the router boxes and then re-seal and ship the packages.
Soon, Butler and an associate began printing their own custom-made router boxes and packaging and sending their cocaine inside of those.
The pair began shipping the kilos of cocaine and money via overnight services, after two criminal associates taught Henry Butler the proper methods of sending the illegal contraband without being detected.
Butler claimed that he and Rosemond regularly transferred hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in cash between each other for large shipments of cocaine.
But in 2010, shortly before Butler’s arrest, the pair decided to scale back the operation.
“He didn’t want to talk on the phone because things were getting hot, and he felt like he was being investigated,” Butler told the jury.
Butler claimed Rosemond began accepting cocaine and shipments of money in Philadelphia, organized by a man named Leonard Bostic.
Butler also claimed the gang used encrypted Blackberrys to send and receive messages, and they almost never spoke on the phone.
After Butler was arrested, he claimed that Rosemond hired an attorney for him, and he was later visited by a private investigator and attorney Jeffery Lichtman, who allegedly passed a note to Butler, containing sensitive information about Butler’s possibility of cooperating with authorities.
This, plus the possibility of life in prison without parole, led Henry Butler to cooperate with authorities.
But, Rosemond’s attorney Gerald Shargel attacked Butler’s credibility, noting that he had already lied about several key factors in the case.
Shargel revealed that Butler also had a Proffer Agreement with authorities that would allow him to receive a reduced prison sentence, if he supplied truthful testimony about Rosemond.
But Butler allegedly lied to agents when he was interviewed, not just once, but several times, in regards to the case.
At first, Butler told prosecutors that he and Rosemond were trafficking much smaller amounts, but those amounts increased as the case continued to build.
Butler said he lied because he wasn’t sure of how much information the government had gathered about the drug gang.
Shargel also revealed that Butler’s agreement with authorities should already be off the table, since he blatantly lied about being a gang member.
During testimony, Henry Butler revealed that he was an “OG” member of the Rolling 60′s Crips in California, a fact that Butler officially denied until last week (May 7).
“Yeah, my voice counted in the neighborhood,” Butler told the jury.
Shargel claimed that Butler has already been caught in several lies and was exaggerating his testimony for a reduced sentence.
Butler said he has met with prosecutors at least 14 times since his arrest, with several sessions dedicated to testifying.
Butler also said that he received documents from Chuck Philips that stated that Rosemond had cooperated with authorities in two separate cases in North Carolina and Florida.
Butler said he ignored the documents, along with a New York Daily News article and continued to do business with Rosemond.
James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond is a well-known urban music executive, who frequently did business with artists like Queen Latifah, Game, Sean Kingston and others.
His company Czar Entertainment managed rapper Game during a violent feud between 50 Cent, G-Unit, and Tony Yayo.
Their feud escalated and ultimately ended in death, when Lowell “Lodi Mack” Fletcher, an associate of Tony Yayo, was allegedly murdered on orders of Rosemond.
Fletcher had been released from prison several months earlier, after serving time for striking Rosemond’s young son.
The incident caused outrage at the time, as well as condemnation from activists like Al Sharpton.
Tony Yayo was put on probation for the incident as well.