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Did NBA Youngboy's Louisiana accent help break major drug case against rapper in Utah?

3 months 1 day 2 hours ago Thursday, April 18 2024 Apr 18, 2024 April 18, 2024 2:32 PM April 18, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE — A federal judge voided NBA Youngboy's house arrest Thursday after Utah law officers booked the Baton Rouge rapper this week and accused him of leading a large-scale prescription fraud drug ring.

The rapper, whose real name is Kentrell Gaulden, was arrested Tuesday on 63 counts including identity fraud, forgery and obtaining or attempting to obtain prescription drugs illegally. A Utah detective says that while others helped him, Gaulden impersonated a real doctor to illegally obtain a codeine-loaded cough suppressant.

"All of the documented incidents show a clear and distinct pattern regarding the names and birthdates, in addition to being prescribed by the same doctor who confirmed they were fraudulent," Officer Tyson Nielsen wrote in an affidavit filed with the Cache County, Utah, court.

Nielsen said Gaulden's Louisiana accent helped break the case.

U.S. Attorney Ronald Gathe cited the affidavit Thursday in asking U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick to rescind an order that placed Gaulden on house arrest while he awaits trial on weapons charges. Gaulden is accused of illegally possessing a gun as a convicted felon and of possessing an unregistered firearm. He has pleaded not guilty.

According to Gaulden's lawyer, James Manasseh, the rapper was still in jail in Utah on Thursday without bail being set. If Gaulden opts to bond out, he would be re-arrested immediately and returned to Baton Rouge, Manasseh said.

The rapper had previously been convicted of aggravated assault after a 2016 shooting. He had been charged with attempted first-degree murder but was offered a reduced charge in 2017. A year later, he was arrested on a domestic violence charge and later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery.

In a 2019 incident at a Miami hotel, his entourage came under fire and returned gunshots, killing a bystander. The shooting was deemed to be in self-defense.

According to the Utah detectives:

In September, a pharmacy in Provo, Utah received a prescription order for someone named "Bethel White." Pharmacists noticed the phone number provided for the physician did not match the actual physician's office listed on the order and called the doctor, who told them he did not have a patient named Bethel White and that this had "happened several times today."

Over the next several months, more fraudulent prescriptions were placed in multiple pharmacies in the area, prompting an eventual investigation by the sheriff's office. Detectives were able to connect Gaulden to the ring, and one of the factors they used to identify him was his distinctive use of the word "axe" instead of "ask" as he posed as different people. 

In one instance, while speaking to a detective investigating the case on the phone, Gaulden reportedly gave his name as "Gwendolyn Cox" and gave the spelling of the alias' last name as "W-H-I-T-E." "Gwendolyn Cox" told the detective that she had "axed" to be sent over to him. The detective also noted in the affidavit that while speaking to "Cox," it was "very clear" that a fake voice was being used.

Later, the detective was speaking to a person known to be Gaulden on the phone and noted the distinctive use of "axed" instead of "asked."

"Based on my training and experience and having lived in the Southern United States, using the term "Axe" in place of ask is a common southern dialect," Nielsen wrote. It was consistent with Gaulden being from Louisiana and having lived in Texas.

The detective also said a Tahoe that showed up at one of the pharmacies was the same one seen in a Gaulden music video and that he acknowledged his association with those who went to various pharmacies to pick up drugs. The affidavit also shows that one of the prescriptions in Gaulden's real name was for a person who is 71 years old. Gaulden is 24. 

Utah officials said also that they found a gun at Gaulden's home; the rapper said it belonged to his wife but that his DNA might be on it because he had recently moved it from an open area to a drawer. 

The search team also confiscated Gaulden's electronics but the detective said he refused to hand over any passcodes, saying "take it and break it."

You can read the full affidavit here.

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