DOCUMENT: Celebrity, Evidence

Rick Ross's Hood Dreams

Rapper's lawyer, cop agree that ex-screw never ran with street gangs

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Rick Ross's Hood Dreams

FEBRUARY 9--The rapper Rick Ross would have his fans believe that he made millions trafficking cocaine while running with one of Miami's violent street gangs.

Of course, that claim took a hit recently with the disclosure that Ross (real name: William Leonard Roberts) actually once worked as a corrections officer, news that was met with derision in hip-hop circles. Now, records show that Ross's own lawyer last year disputed reports that the performer has ever been affiliated with any gang.

Ross's purported hoodlum connections were explored last April during a deposition of Officer Rey Hernandez, a Miami Beach cop who arrested Ross in January 2008 on gun and marijuana charges (one of the few blemishes on Ross's rap sheet).

As seen in the below transcript excerpts, Ross's lawyer, Allan Zamren, asked Hernandez why Ross's case was assigned to the gang task force. 'Because your client claims affiliation with Carol City Cartel and other known gang members,' Hernandez replied. The cop then directed Zamren to 'some literature or video on U-Tube that you can pull up for yourself.'

Zamren then proceeded to press Hernandez on Ross's supposed gang ties. 'Do you have anybody from a Carol City gang that you have information on or basis of any knowledge that says he is affiliated with them?' Hernandez answered, 'No.' Zamren then asked, 'Do you have anything that shows you he was affiliated with any gang?' Hernandez replied, 'No, I do not.'

Zamren also got Hernandez to acknowledge that, prior to the January 2008 bust, Ross had never been arrested in Miami-Dade County, where he has long resided.

In response to a Freedom of Information request, a copy of the Hernandez deposition was provided to TSG by the Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney, which is prosecuting Ross on the gun charge (the pot count was dropped). (6 pages)