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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Rapper Rick Ross Faces Even More Legal Troubles

Rick Ross Arrested Again 

Rapper Rick Ross is again facing legal troubles.  This time he was arrested and charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault and aggravated battery charges after a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force and deputies arrested him at his mansion south of Atlanta. Arrest warrants accuse Ross of forcing a man into a guesthouse at his mansion and beating him, chipping his teeth and severely injuring his neck and jaw.  The kidnapping charge arises from Ross’ alleged refusal to let the man leave. 

Jim Joyner, a supervisor with the Marshals' Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, told The Associated Press that Ross — whose real name is Williams Roberts — was being held without bail in the Fayette County Jail.  Joyner said that Ross’ bodyguard faces the same charges.  Officers arrived at Ross’ mansion which was once owned by boxer Evander Holyfield, but someone inside refused to open the gate leading to the home.  "They refused to open the gate, so we opened the gate for them," Joyner said.  Once officers got past the gate, someone inside opened the front door so they didn't have to break it down. Ross and the bodyguard were then taken into custody without incident, Joyner said.

It was second time in the past two weeks Ross has been arrested in Fayette County. On June 10, Ross was booked into the county jail on a charge of marijuana possession.  In that case, Ross and a passenger were pulled over because the windows of the Bentley in which they were riding violated tinting regulations. The officer smelled marijuana and found some inside the car.

Rick Ross is no stranger to arrests.  In 2014 he was arrested in Greensboro, North Carolina after his performance at the 2014 SuperJam concert. He was arrested for failing to appear in court for a 2013 marijuana charge.  But that wasn’t Ross's only performance that has been involved with some offstage drama. Ross was blocked by a protesting mob of about 100 people when trying to enter the Chene Park Ampitheater for HOT 107.5's Summer Jamz concert in Detroit on June 21st.

Other marijuana charges include an arrest on March 26, 2011 in Shreveport for possession. According to the police records, a strong odor of marijuana was detected from his room at the Hilton in Downtown Shreveport.

In 2008, Ross was arrested on gun and marijuana charges in South Florida.  The case was assigned to the gang task force because the arresting officer testified that Ross claimed affiliation with the Carol City Cartel and other known gang members.

But it is not just law enforcement that Ross has been having trouble with.  It is well known in the rap world that there has been a dispute between Ross and the Chicago-based Gangster Disciples. Ross was apparently targeted by gang leaders after he used some of their signs, symbols and logos without paying them the required fees.  Gang members have posted video death threats against the rapper on YouTube.  Many believe that the Gangster Disciples sent a hit squad to do a drive-by shooting on Ross in South Florida in January 2013.  Ross was out celebrating his 37th birthday at when his Bentley was prayed with bullets.  Ross reportedly tried to flee the shooting, but ended up crashing his car into an apartment.  Police said that the motive for the shooting was not clear.

Threats against Ross have been a major cause of concern, and caused Ross to cancel his Maybach Music Group tour in December 2012. Promoters in North Carolina were the first to pull the plug on two scheduled performances by Ross and label mates Meek Mill and Wale, fearing an altercation with the Gangster Disciples.  Other legal troubles arose from Ross’ cancelations, including Ross’ failure to pay the booking agent, Total Access Entertainment, $171,000 that was owed to them for setting up the tour.  That lawsuit is still pending.   In that suit, Ross testified in one breath that he doesn’t know anything that goes on behind-the-scenes with touring decisions, yet in the next breath he testified that he is “the Big Boss” and nothing happens concerning any aspect of his career that he does not know about and approve. 

Other civil actions against Ross include a suit by rival rapper, “50 Cent” alleging that Ross leaked a sex-tape of Ross’ ex-girlfriend on line.  In another suit by a photographer, Armen Djerrahian, sued Ross for using an iconic image of JayZ in his video without seeking permission.

Ross has also been accused of dodging process servers' attempts to slap him with court papers for over six months after he allegedly bailed on plans to perform in London in 2012.  Ross was named in papers alongside his collaborators Meek Mill, Wale and Omarion amid accusations they pulled out of a gig at the city's Wembley Arena after promoters at Executive Decision gave them a large advance of their performance fees and covered other costs, amounting to $93,281.26 (£58,300).  Company boss Christian Ezechie filed his complaint in New York federal court but could not serve Ross with the summons "despite numerous and diligent attempts"

One of Ross’ most criticized offenses comes from a line on rapper Rocko's song "U.O.E.N.O.", where Rick Ross raps the line, "Put molly all in her champagne/ She ain't even know it/ I took her home and I enjoyed that/ She ain't even know it." A petition containing 72,000 signatures was presented to Rebok, demanding they drop Ross as a spokesman because his lyrics condone date rape. Ross apologized for the lyrics, claiming they weren't about rape, but he was nevertheless dropped by Reebok. A Ross concert organized by the student association of Carleton University was cancelled after protests that his lyrics promote "rape culture".  Rocko later dropped the Rick Ross verse in order to get radio play.

Further law suits include one filed by YouTube entertainer DJ Vlad who sued Ross for assault and battery. Vlad claimed Ross organized an ambush on him at the 2008 Ozone Awards in Houston, Texas for asking questions about his past as a correctional officer.

On June 18, 2010, "Freeway" Ricky Ross sued Rick Ross for using his name, filing a copyright infringement lawsuit in a California Federal Court.  The reformed drug kingpin was looking for 10 million dollars in the lawsuit.  Also, the release of Ross’ album, Teflon Don, was threatened to be blocked by Freeway Ricky Ross.  The lawsuit was thrown out of court on July 3, 2010 and his album, Teflon Don, was released on July 20 as scheduled.  But then in 2011 the rapper Teflon Don filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Ross for the use of the name as an album title.  A week after the filing of the lawsuit, Rick Ross responded to the charges: "It's like owning a restaurant, you're gonna have a few slip and falls. You get lawsuits, you deal with them, and get them out your way…sometimes you lose."   Looks like Ross’ “restaurant” has been a very slippery place. 


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