Our Pledge To You


Ex-rap mogul Rudy Acosta pleads not guilty to drug charges

A former gangster rap mogul who once showed off his wealth by building a castle-like fortress on the Northwest Side pleaded not guilty on Friday to federal charges alleging he supplied wholesale quantities of drugs to dealers in the Chicago area.

Rudy “King Rudy” Acosta, 39, appeared at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse on Friday wearing an orange jumpsuit as his four lawyers entered a not guilty plea. He’ll remain in federal custody.

Acosta was charged last month with distributing more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, according to a federal criminal complaint. The complaint also alleges Acosta threatened to kill the wife and kids of a courier whom he thought had stolen his cocaine.

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

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

A raid of Acosta’s Orland Park home last month netted thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry. Agents found Acosta holding a loaded pistol, which he soon dropped, as agents stormed his home where they found a half dozen loaded guns.

The complaint contains a series of text message sent to an informant after agents intercepted 15 kilograms of a 20-kilogram shipment from a client’s courier on Oct. 27.

In one text, Acosta told the informant he didn’t want “to have to bring Mexico into this.”

Joe “The Shark” Lopez, one of Acosta’s lawyers, said last month at his bond hearing that the threats were “puffery” and called the charge a “garden variety drug case.”

Three of Acosta’s family members appeared in court on Friday. Acosta looked at them and smiled before he was once again handcuffed and led back into federal custody.

Acosta, who has four children, founded Legion Records, which has since closed. At its height, the label worked with rappers Kanye West and R. Kelly.

Acosta lost his 7,000 square-foot, five-bedroom home off the Addison exit on the Kennedy Expressway to foreclosure in 2007. He made millions as a record producer but lost most of his wealth when he went bankrupt in 2011, his lawyer has said.

Acosta will next appear for a status hearing on Jan. 14.