Former Clipse Manager Pleads Guilty To Drug Conspiracy Charges

 Drug kingpin Anthony Gonzalez struck an unusual deal with federal prosecutors Tuesday (October 6): In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors promised not to charge four family members in the $10 million drug conspiracy that Gonzalez oversaw.

Gonzalez, the former manager of the rap duo Clipse and who once owned the defunct Virginia Beach nightclub Encore Lounge, is also expected to get a deal that will spare him a life prison sentence.

Gonzalez, 34, who goes by "Geezy," pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Tuesday to one federal drug conspiracy count and one firearms charge.

He admitted to distributing more than a half-ton of cocaine and nearly a ton of marijuana over the past five years until his arrest in April.

He and his associates traveled to Florida, the Southwest and even to Panama to obtain the drugs.

Gonzalez admitted in court that he led the organization "in a very careful and deliberative manner," according to a statement of facts he signed in court.

He rarely touched the drugs himself and limited membership in the ring to family members and lifelong friends, including the six friends indicted with him. Four of those six have already pleaded guilty to related charges.

Prosecutors have agreed not to charge Gonzalez's wife, Davon Gonzalez; his mother, Sandr a Gregory; his sister, Shana Gregory; and his aunt, Sherry Ann Wilson, the plea agreement says.

All are listed in the indictment, identified by their initials, as co-conspirators who played various roles handling either drugs or money.

Gonzalez admitted in court that he began distributing drugs in 2003 and said it accelerated between February 2005 and June 2006, when he was receiving 30 kilograms a month from a supplier known only as J.B.

By the time of his arrest, Gonzalez acknowledged, he had distributed more than 1,100 pounds of cocaine, 1,800 pounds of marijuana and several pounds of heroin over the past five years.

In court Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Friedman asked Gonzalez whether the statement of facts was true, Gonzalez replied, "Yes, very true."

Gonzalez lived lavishly during that stretch. He used the drug proceeds to buy luxury autos, expensive jewelry for himself and his family, as well as several homes, including one in Georgia, the statement of facts says.

In 2007, he used proceeds from his drug dealing to buy the nightclub Encore Lounge at 1889 Virginia Beach Blvd. The club closed earlier this year after more than 100 incidents of violence, gunfire, drug dealing and arrests.

The indictment also charged Gonzalez with laundering drug proceeds through a company he established called Soul Providers Management, which had been the booking agent for the rap duo Clipse.

Clipse front men, brothers Gene and Terrence Thornton (aka Malice and Pusha T), were never linked to Gonzalez's illegal activity.

In exchange for his plea, and avoidance of a protracted trial, Gonzalez must cooperate with authorities in an ongoing investigation into his suppliers and any other illegal activity he may be aware of, according to court filings.

However, he could be charged in any "crime of violence" that authorities might uncover in the future that could be linked to him, according to his plea agreement.

The prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Darryl Mitchell, declined to comment after the proceeding. Gonzalez's attorney, Lawrence H. Woodward Jr., also declined to comment.

Gonzalez is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 11. He remains in jail without bond.