Rapper Tsu Surf gets 5 years for RICO charge

Lyndon Abioye |

Popular New Jersey hip hop artist TSU Surf, 32, whose real name is Rahjon Cox — was one of 10 reputed members of the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips charged under federal RICO statutes following a massive North Jersey roundup last year.

TSU Surf took a plea deal from the government rather than risk the possibility of a much more severe sentence if he’d been convicted at a trial. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon this past April.

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton sentenced the rapper to 5 years in prison – and because there’s no parole in the federal prison system, he has to serve all his time. Wigenton also sentenced Cox to three years of supervised release and fined him $15,000.

To attack the Rollin’ 60s and similar street gangs operating in North Jersey, federal authorities in Newark used the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law, which Congress adopted more than 50 years ago to pursue mobsters.

Although RICO is hardly used against the Mob anymore, its definition makes it a nearly foolproof tool against street gangs, corporations, politicians and managed care companies. It requires only that prosecutors prove that someone participated in a pattern of crimes connected to an “enterprise.”

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