Newly released documents from the federal trial of two drug bosses reveal that the Wu-Tang Clan were looked at by the FBI for possibly having ordered the deaths of two people (also paying for one of those murders) in Staten Island in 1999. There’s a lot to unpack here, so these are the crucial details.
- Last October, Anthony and Harvey Christian were found guilty of running a 20-year drug empire in Staten Island, as well as orchestrating the death of 17-year-old Jerome “Boo Boo” Estrella.
- According to Anthony Christian’s lawyer, an FBI file reveals that members of the Wu-Tang Clan may have ordered the murder as revenge for the robbery of RZA’s little brother. He now wants access to all the files associated with that murder, as well as the murder of a second man, Corey “Shank Bank” Brooker, because he believes this information is pertinent to the guilt or innocence of his client. Prosecutors disagree, maintaining that Christian plotted the murder, because the Christians and Wu-Tang were contemporaries who agreed the robberies were bad for their drug trade.
- Brian Humphreys, the trigger man behind Estrella’s death, was arrested the day of the murder and became an FBI informant. His file says: “A couple of weeks before the [Estrella] shooting, Uncles (the street name of drug supplier-turned-informant Paul Ford) told Humphreys about [Estrella], who just came home from jail. He stated that [Estrella] had robbed RZA’s little brother and had also gotten into something with the Christian brothers. [Ford] was talking about [Estrella] 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 [Ford] was referring to members of Wu-Tang.
- Those documents also contain details about another 1999 murder, that of Brooker. According to them, Ford said Brooker had robbed both RZA’s brother and Raekwon’s cousin, leading to RZA offering up $30,000 for his death. An unknown person named Phife is alleged to be behind Brooker’s murder.
- Despite the references to the Wu-Tang Clan in the FBI files, this is what prosecutors believe happened: Christian and Ford ordered Humphreys to murder Brooker because he was a rival drug dealer, but Brooker escaped that attempt. Humphreys then killed Estrella so he wouldn’t warn Brooker about who was behind the failed murder attempt. Someone finally finished the deed on Brooker three days after the initial attempt but, despite references to Phife in the court documents, Brooker’s murder remains unsolved because it’s unknown who Phife is.
The fact that the FBI has had this information with no repercussions for the rappers means that any potential role they may have had in this saga is in the past. Still, the details are riveting, and revealing.
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(Via Staten Island Advance)