Texas rappers liable to sing the blues after federal prison sentence
Two Texas rappers are liable to be singing the blues after being sentenced to federal prison Wednesday for drug trafficking crimes in the Eastern District of Texas.
Justin Rashad Young, a 31-year-old rapper and club promoter known as “Band Aid,” was found guilty on June 25 of conspiring with Joshea Cardwell to traffic methamphetamine and marijuana in Texarkana following a four-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Robert W. Schroeder, III. Judge Schroeder sentenced Young to 140 months in federal prison.
Cardwell, a 30-year-old known as “Too Tall,” pleaded guilty on June 4 to conspiring with Young and to possessing a firearm in furtherance of their drug conspiracy. Cardwell was sentenced to 130 months in federal prison.
A statement provided by Eastern District of Texas Attorney Stephen Cox’s Office said information presented in court showed that on June 28, 2017, police found Young and Cardwell in the Magnuson Hotel near North State Line Avenue in Texarkana, with more than 400 grams of methamphetamine, 1.6 kilograms of marijuana, drug distribution materials, and a Taurus 9 mm pistol. Young had previously been shot at a drug house of his on Waterman Street in Texarkana, and on another occasion, was found in possession of marijuana after he left another drug house. Evidence recovered from Young’s cell phones and Facebook account revealed that Young regularly possessed firearms in connection with his drug business. At trial, a cooperating witness described how Cardwell and Young had been working together for months to sell methamphetamine and marijuana, which Cardwell was buying from California.
Young and Cardwell were indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 14, 2018 and again on July 24, 2019.
This case is a part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce un violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.The United States Attorney’s Office is prosecuting this case with support from the following Project Guardian partners: Special Operations Division of the Texarkana Texas Police Department, the Texarkana office of the Texas Department of Public Safety, Criminal Investigation Division, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan R. Hornok and Lucas R. Machicek.
More information about Project Guardian can be found at https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.