Previously unreleased FBI files that surfaced during the trial of two Staten Island drug dealers include allegations from a local informant that implicate RZA and Raekwon in the contract killings of two men. Michael Gold, the attorney for accused drug bosses Anthony and Harvey Christian, contends that the 1999 murder of Jerome “Boo Boo” Estella for which his clients have been blamed, was actually ordered by RZA in retaliation for a robbery Estrella committed.
Drawing from testimony included in those files from Brian Humphreys, who admitted to shooting Estella and then turned informant, Gold’s theory is that RZA and Rae ordered the hits on Estrella and another man named Corey “Shank Bank” Brooker after the two men robbed RZA’s brother and Rae’s cousin, respectively.
From the Staten Island Advance, which first reported the story:
“A couple of weeks before the Boo Boo shooting, Uncles (the street name of drug supplier-turned-informant Paul Ford) told Humphreys about a Blood named Boo Boo who just came home from jail. He stated that Boo Boo had robbed RZA’s little brother and had also gotten into something with the Christian brothers,” the filing reads.
RZA, or Robert Fitzergald Diggs, is one of Wu-Tang’s founding members.
“Uncles was talking about Boo Boo and said that he had just come home and robbed RZA’s brother and that they would likely come after him for that. Humphreys believes Uncles was referring to members of Wu Tang,” the prosecutors’ filings read.
The documents also refer to conversations between Ford, Humphreys and Anthony Christian about Brooker, who was shot to death on June 22, 1999.
In those conversations, Ford said that Brooker robbed both RZA’s brother and the cousin of another Wu-Tang member, Raekwon (real name Corey Woods), leading to RZA issuing a $30,000 contract to kill Brooker.
“Ford stated that he had previously heard that Shank Bank was killed by Phife (ph). Ford believes that Phife collected money from RZA for executing the hit,” the filings read. It’s not clear who “Phife” refers to.
Gold’s play here seems to be to raise some sort of reasonable doubt that these murders werre in fact ordered by his clients by implying that the FBI witheld information about the Wu-Tang connection in order to pin the hits on the Christian brothers. Federal prosecutors deny that allegation and released these documents to show that they did in fact disclose the Wu-Tang link. Clearly the Feds haven’t found any credible evidence linking RZA and Rae to the crimes, because I can’t imagine that they would have passed on a chance to pursue murder charges against two prominent members of one of the biggest Rap groups of all time.