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Rap impressario accused of threatening man over drugs

A shot of the Castle on the Kennedy, once owned by rap impressario Rudy Acosta | Brian Jackson/For Chicago Sun-Times

He once owned a record label and the Castle on the Kennedy — that huge fortress of a home on the Northwest Side that can be seen from the expressway.

Now, rap impressario Rudy “King Rudy” Acosta is looking at spending time in the Big House as he faces accusations in federal court that he also made millions as a wholesale cocaine distributor. Acosta is charged with distributing more than five kilograms of cocaine, according to a federal criminal complaint unsealed Friday.

Prosecutors allege Acosta bragged to informants about connections to Mexican suppliers and insiders in law enforcement. Informants said Acosta moved 20 to 50 kilograms of cocaine per month, and that he claimed to have made $20 million trafficking drugs over the last decade, court records state.

A raid of Acosta’s home Tuesday — his home in the south suburbs, not the castle-like edifice Acosta had built overlooking the Kennedy near the Addison exit — netted thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry. Agents also found a half-dozen loaded guns — including one Acosta was holding, but dropped, as DEA agents battered down his door.

At a detention hearing Friday, Acosta’s lawyers described him as a hard-working family man who ran his own construction business and coached his sons’ fourth-grade football team in the south suburbs. Prosecutors pointed to a darker side, revealed in a series of text messages sent to an informant in recent weeks after agents intercepted 15 kilograms of a 20-kilogram shipment from a client’s courier.

Acosta wanted information on the courier and his family, even as he worried about explaining the lost shipment to his suppliers in Mexico.

“Dudes gonna end up losing a kid I promise u that,” Acosta texted the informant, according to the complaint.

In another text, he fretted to the informant: “I don’t want to have to bring Mexico into this. I have shorties (children) in college and high school. I don’t need these MFs comgin to my (expletive) crib and making (expletive) uncomfortable.

Acosta scowled as he thumbed through an inch-thick binder of evidence at the detention hearing, which inventoried his cell phone calls and texts with the informant and the contents of his house. U.S. Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown ordered Acosta held without bond.

Acosta’s lawyer, Joe “The Shark” Lopez, said the threats were “puffery,” and called the charge a “garden variety drug case.” Acosta made millions as a record producer, Lopez said, but Acosta lost most of his wealth when he went bankrupt in 2011, after his record label, Legion Records, parted with Time-Warner. Acosta lost the 7,000-square foot Kennedy mansion to foreclosure in 2007.

Despite boasting about having associates in law enforcement, Lopez noted that prosecutors offered no evidence that Acosta had contacted anyone with ties to police or other authorities, and Acosta had a permit to carry firearms and legally owned all of the weapons seized from his home and vehicles.

“Puffing. Just puffing,” Lopez said of Acosta’s texts. “They (DEA) riled him up” with text messages.

In a 25-page affidavit, DEA agents described a series of text messages between Acosta and their informant, who they pulled over in a van holding the 15 kilos of cocaine on Oct. 29. Acosta blasts his associate for sloppiness, and counsels him on using the Blackberry Messenger app and other techniques to use his cell phone to avoid detection from authorities — not realizing his contact is sharing the messages with DEA agents.

Acosta describes increasing pressure from his purported Mexican suppliers as he tries to collect on some $650,000 needed to pay for the cocaine that had gone missing—and get the name of the missing courier, claiming he wanted his “head on a pike.”

“I need $ these guys are on my ass,” Acosta texted. “I had them come to my house and meet my kids.”

Acosta also hints at law enforcement contacts and the reach of the organization backing him: “Whether its inside dea sh–, organized crime, family friends that work for us in law enforcement, Private investigators, gang members, lawyers, accountants, irs returns on family … Only thing your going doing is pissing off all the wrong people & that will follow you around until all is well.”