Battle rapper Tsu Surf was hit with a five-year bid in federal prison after he pleaded guilty in a massive RICO case.
On Thursday night, November 30, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced that the Newark, N.J. native has been sentenced to five years in prison for crimes he committed during his involvement with the Rollin' 60s Neighborhood Crips. U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton handed down the ruling five months after the artist, born Rahjon Cox, pleaded guilty to two counts of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) conspiracy and possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon. He initially faced up to 30 years behind bars.
Tsu Surf admitted that he held a leadership role during his time with the gang from 2015 to 2022. The Rollin' 60s Crips were accused of being "a criminal enterprise responsible for acts of violence and the distribution of controlled substances in New Jersey and elsewhere." In March 2017, Cox shot a firearm at a member of a rival gang, but did not hit him. Two years later, he was caught in possession of two loaded weapons, which is illegal for convicted felons.
The 32-year-old artist's case has drawn attention from celebrities like Wyclef Jean, who's been advocating for his release for months. The Fugees rapper even shouted him out during the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards.
Tsu Surf will have to serve out the entire 60-month sentence since there's no parole in federal prison. Judge Wigenton also ordered him to three years of supervised release and fined him $15,000.