“You’re the kingpin,” Federal Judge John Gleeson said. “Not all kingpins necessarily deserve a life sentence but you certainly do.”
Rosemond, known also as Jimmy the Henchman, was found guilty of using his record label as a front for an $11 million a year cocaine trafficking ring in the U.S.
“You’re a very intelligent and capable person and you chose this life,” Gleeson added.
The 48-year-old, who has worked with stars including Jay-Z and Sean Combs, will now face charges in a separate trial that alleges he ordered a murder as payback for an assault on his son.
Rosemond, 48, who declined to speak, faces trial next month on murder-for-hire charges in Manhattan Federal Court for ordering the killing of an associate of rapper 50 Cent suspected of slapping Rosemond’s son. Rosemond has denied he ordered the hit on Shakur in a Manhattan recording studio.
Rosemond supervised a crew who shipped thousands of kilograms of coke from California to New York City hidden inside music equipment cases.
Nevertheless, Rosemond also maintained a wildly successful business managing the careers of rapper The Game and actor Michael K. Williams of “The Wire” and “Boardwalk Empire” fame, and had business dealings with Rev. Al Sharpton, Sean (Diddy) Combs and Wyclef Jean.
His music business and drug dealing paid for a luxury lifestyle, with penthouses in Brooklyn and Los Angeles that he had to forfeit after his arrest.
Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch called him a “thug in a suit.”
“Today’s life sentence is a fitting end to the ‘Henchman’s’ two-faced machinations,” Lynch said.
Rosemond had also long been a suspect in the 1994 shooting of Tupac, who was robbed and shot five times outside a Manhattan recording studio.
The attack sparked a feud between rival gangs that resulted in the 1996 murder of Tupac in Las Vegas and 1997 killing of Notorious B.I.G in Los Angeles in 1997.
Convicted killer Dexter Isaac later alleged that Rosemond had paid him $2,500 in cash and jewellery to rob Tupac outside the Quad Studio.
Rosemond has denied any involvement in the attack, which his lawyer described as a ‘flat out lie’ to the Daily News.
No one will stand trial over the 1994 robbery because its New York’s statute of limitations has expired.