Ar-Ab Convicted of Running Drug Trafficking Ring, Faces at Least 15 Years in Prison: Report
Philadelphia rapper Ar-Ab is facing some serious prison time after being convicted on federal charges.
According to a report the Philadelphia Inquirer published on Tuesday (Nov. 19), jurors found the rapper, born Abdul West, guilty of turning his Original Block Hustlaz (OBH) record label into a drug trafficking ring implicated in at least two murders. West’s codefendants Jamaal “Bionickhaz” Blanding, Jameel “Melanio” Hickson and Hans “No Brakes Bras” Gadsen were reportedly also found guilty. West and his codefendants maintained that OBH was not a drug-trafficking front but a legitimate record label throughout the trial.
“Every one of them had their hustles,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Everett R. Witherell said of Ar-Ab and his co-defendants in his closing argument last week. “But it all ran through Mr. West.”
Ar-Ab's three co-defendants were reportedly also found guilty of conspiracy and distribution of crack, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Five others in the case pleaded guilty before the start of trial.
According to the publication, Ar-Ab smiled and blew a kiss to a group of supporters and fans in the courtroom when U.S. Marshals handcuffed him and led him out of the building. Under federal drug laws, Ar-Ab now reportedly faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison.
This news arrives after known Ar-Ab associate Dark Lo was arrested for witness tampering in relation to Ar-Ab's hearings on Nov. 7. Lo remains in federal custody.
In October of 2018, Ar-Ab was indicted for running a local drug gang. He was charged with selling cocaine (five kilograms), crack cocaine (280 grams or more), methamphetamine (50 grams or more) and heroin (over 100 grams), according to a statement from the United States Attorney's Office. Ar-Ab was also hit with individual charges including possession with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, crack, and heroin, distribution of methamphetamine and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Ar-Ab first made waves in the rap game as a former artist under Philly rapper Cassidy. He later made news for his rap beef with Meek Mill, which was later squashed. In 2016, Ar-Ab secured a deal with Cash Money Records.
See 29 of the Greatest Hip-Hop Documentaries of All-Time