Brooklyn rapper Ra Diggs was found guilty on 21 federal charges, including three murders, on Thursday, June 26. The 32-year-old, born Ronald Herron, was also convicted of dealing drugs and racketeering in a case where his music videos were used as evidence against him, as the New York Times reports. He faces life in prison and will be sentenced on October 1.
Prosecuters alleged that Herron was a leader in the Bloods gang and ran a drug operation in the Gowanus Houses projects. They also used several of his songs and music videos, some of which featured Waka Flocka Flame, as evidence, saying his rhymes were literal recountings of his crimes. The defense, meanwhile, argued that the tracks were just fictional accounts of his life in Brooklyn.
Herron is convicted of killing three men with ties to drugs: Richard Russo, Victor Zapata, and Frederick Brooks. Herron was tried on the state level for killing the latter victim in 2001 but was acquitted, amid allegations of witness intimidation. Among the odd details of the case were claims by another drug dealer that Herron ordered him to commit murders while dressing in drag as a disguise, according to BET.
"He styled himself a rap artist, but the jury’s verdict makes clear who Herron really is: a drug dealer and murderer who sought power through fear and intimidation," said Loretta E. Lynch, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Watch Ra Diggs' "Eulogy" video below.