On Wednesday (May 11), Casanova pleaded guilty to two counts — for racketeering and marijuana conspiracies — after his alleged involvement with a gang.
Damian Williams, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, claims that Casanova (né Caswell Senior) played a “leadership role in the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation Bloods Gang (‘Gorilla Stone’) in Westchester County, New York City and Florida.” As part of his racketeering conspiracy offense, Casanova admitted to his involvement in a 2018 robbery at a Manhattan diner and a 2020 shooting in Miami following a “gambling dispute.” He was allegedly affiliated with the gang, which is described as “particularly violent,” from 2004 to December 2020.
Senior’s attorney James Kousouros tells Billboard, “Mr. Senior pled guilty to the racketeering conspiracy and in that regard he admitted to selling marijuana and a robbery in which he took a phone from a lady who refused to stop filming him. He deleted the videos and returned the phone to her. He is sincerely sorry for his involvement in this case and hopes that the Court will accept his remorse and positive plans for the future. Mr. Senior has every intention of giving back to the community in a positive way.”
Williams said in a statement, “Like 12 of his co-defendants, Caswell Senior, an accomplished recording artist and performer, now stands convicted of playing a leadership role in Gorilla Stone, a particularly violent Bloods gang that operates throughout New York and across the country. In addition to his supervisory role, Senior was an active, hands-on participant in the gang’s senseless violence, including a shooting in Miami and contributing to a robbery at a Manhattan diner.”
Senior is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Philip M. Halpern on the morning of Dec. 6.
Prior to his guilty plea, Casanova was poised for success in his music career. He peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Next Big Sound chart in 2019 after the release of his album Behind These Scars. Chatting with Billboard at the time, Casanova was hopeful for the future and excited that his music was being recognized globally.
“I go out to these different places overseas and they recognize who I am, I’m shocked,” he said then. “Like right now I’m by myself and people can walk right by. But when you’re out in London by yourself and they call out your name it’s amazing and I love it. I think that’s because I’m beginning to travel more and people are getting to know who I am now more than ever.”
Per a statement from the DOJ, the maximum prison sentence for Senior’s charges is 60 years.