Rudy ‘King Rudy’ Acosta free on $2 million bond in drug case

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Rap impresario Rudy Acosta was the original ownder of this house that’s visible from the Kennedy Expressway. Acosta designed it to be his dream home but lost it to foreclosure; it was purchased attorney | Anthony Panzica said.

Standing in front of a federal judge Thursday, Rudy “King Rudy” Acosta Jr. turned to look at the assorted relatives waiting in the courtroom to post bond for the one-time rap impresario and North Side castle owner.

Acosta was jailed six months ago on charges he trafficked millions of dollars worth of cocaine for Mexican drug cartels and threatened an undercover DEA informant who claimed to have lost a shipment of cocaine. But U.S. District Judge Robert Dow on Thursday said he was willing to release Acosta before trial thanks to $2 million bond posted by six family members, the net equity on a total of eight homes owned by his wife, his father, grandmother, sister, uncle and other loved ones.

“Mr. Acosta, turn around and look at them,” Dow said. “This is a substantial amount of property and a large number of people that are putting themsleves out for you.”

Federal prosecutors had opposed bond for Acosta, whom they say was a middleman for Mexican cartels. Acosta, who gained some prominence as the head of Legion Records — a label that in the mid-2000s collaborated with Chicago superstars Kanye West and R. Kelly — and as the builder of a massive, castle-like home overlooking the Addison exit on the Kennedy Expressway.

Acosta’s lawyers say Acosta lost the 7,000-square foot mansion to foreclosure in 2007, and most of his wealth in a 2011 bankruptcy.

His beefy shoulders slumped, and tattoo-covered arms folded in front of him, Acosta smiled and nodded in turn as family members signed forms pledging to forfeit their homes if he misses a court date. Acosta was taken from the courtroom before his grandmother was rolled up in a wheelchair to sign for her house.

“These are working people, taxpayers,” Acosta’s lawyer, Catharine O’Daniel, said outside the courtroom.

Acosta was arrested in November after DEA agents raided his Orland Park home following a months-long investigation. Authorities say Acosta has ties to Mexican drug cartels, and trafficked multiple kilograms of cocaine into Chicago each month.

An informant working with the DEA recorded calls and shared texts with agents that outlined a 20-kilogram cocaine shipment, and Acosta’s mounting distress after the informant claimed some 15 kilos had been intercepted by police.

Acosta’s lawyers said he was due to have surgery on his gums and have braces removed around the time of his arrest, and had been enduring chronic pain while locked up in the Metropolitan Correctional Center, the federal lockup in downtown Chicago. Acosta, his lawyers said, was a hard-working construction contractor who volunteered with his sons’ youth football team in south suburban Orland Park before his arrest.

His conversations with the DEA informant paint a different portrait of Acosta, federal prosecutors said, noting Acosta repeatedly claimed he was dealing with Mexican suppliers with connections to law enforcement— and a markedly different spin on the importance of loved ones.

“FYI There gonna send someone to the house to hit (kill) the wife,” Acosta allegedly wrote in a text to the informant. “Just so u know bro nothing personal between me & you Just for insurance that this will be paid.”

O’Daniel said Thursday that the messages were just empty boasts, not sincere threats, and that Acosta would not be a danger to the public.

“We have never viewed (those comments) as anything remotely realistic,” she said.

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