A task force of FBI agents and New York Police Department (NYPD) officers raided the Manhattan offices of urban imprint Murder Inc. early Friday. The raid came as part of a federal probe of label foun

A task force of FBI agents and New York Police Department (NYPD) officers raided the Manhattan offices of urban imprint Murder Inc. early Friday. The raid came as part of a federal probe of label founder Irv Gotti's alleged ties to drug trafficking, money laundering, and gang activities, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

An NYPD spokesperson tells Billboard Bulletin that the department does not comment on activities involving federal authorities; an FBI spokesperson was unavailable for comment.

A former Def Jam Music Group A&R executive, Gotti (real name: Irving Lorenzo) started Murder Inc. in 1997 and has been instrumental in the careers of numerous pop and hip-hop stars, including Ashanti, Ja Rule, Jay-Z, DMX, and Jennifer Lopez.

Last year, Murder Inc. renewed a joint-venture deal with Island Def Jam. "In 2003, Murder Inc. is going to drop three or four new acts," Gotti told Billboard in October. "I have two superstars with Ja [Rule] and Ashanti. When it's all said and done, I want five or six. That's the goal. The ultimate vision is for us to pick a town, and Murder Inc. comes through that town with five or six multi-platinum superstars all together and we're all recognized as stars. We all come through, and we're all selling multi-platinum records. The goal is to be like Motown had it."

At deadline, representatives from Murder Inc. and Def Jam were unavailable for comment.