Brooklyn rapper, Casanova, received his prison sentence a full 2 years after being arrested for racketeering and gang-related crimes. Yesterday afternoon, a press release was made announcing that U.S. District Judge Philip M. Halpern sentenced him to 188 months in prison for racketeering and narcotics.
Casanova, legally named Caswell Senior, was originally facing up to 60 years behind bars for his offenses. He was one of 18 alleged gang members that were indicted in December of 2020 in relation to the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation Bloods Gang.
Last August, a judge sentenced Donnie Love, legally Donovan Gillard, to 20 years and 8 months behind bars. Gillard was Casanova’s co-defendant that was ultimately determined to be a leader of the gang. Prosecutors said, “Gillard’s leadership role meant that he was responsible for ensuring that his many reports followed the gang’s rules, including retaliating against rival gang members who threatened the gang’s narcotics dealing or its overall reputation and stature. Gillard was responsible for ensuring that his reports learned the Gorilla Stone oath and its various rules, and he played a role in recruiting young members to the violent gang.”
Initially after being indicted, Casanova surrendered and claimed his innocence, pleading not guilty to multiple charges, including conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, as well as possession of firearms. However, in January the rapper decided to change his strategy and pleaded guilty to narcotics and racketeering crimes related to his leadership role in the Gorilla Stone gang.
His plea of guilty included confessing to his parts in a 2020 gang shooting in Florida as well as a 2018 robbery in New York City. Casanova also confessed to having trafficked more than 100 kilograms of marijuana while with the Gorilla Stone gang.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, was the lead prosecutor for Casanova’s case. In a press release yesterday, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams told reporters, “Caswell Senior is not just a notorious recording artist, but he is also a high-profile leader of a vicious street gang and a magnet for gang violence. At a crowded Miami house party, Senior personally fired a gun that seriously injured and could have killed a victim, inciting a shootout. Further, Senior’s stature in the community was central to Gorilla Stone’s successful recruitment and nationwide expansion. Today’s sentencing — along with the other significant sentences that have been imposed in this case — shows once again that gang life is not worth it and will lead to many years in prison.”
There is no information available on whether or not Casanova will be up for parole at any point during his sentence.