HOUSTON (KIAH) – A 43-year-old Houston rapper has been ordered to federal prison following his conviction of conspiracy to distribute and distributing meth, cocaine and opioids.
Jermaine West, also known as “The Breadman,” pleaded guilty April 6 to 10 counts of drug trafficking in the Houston area, according to U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
U.S. District Judge George Hanks on Monday ordered West to serve 280 months in federal prison, then to be immediately followed by six years of supervised release.
At the hearing, the court heard additional argument that West had engaged in gang activity beyond his drug trafficking. In handing down the sentence, Judge Hanks noted that West “destroyed people’s lives.” The court further noted that “for 20 years [West] played a dangerous game,” and that he had “played the game and lost.”
West was part of the Hood Kat Music Group rap studio based in southeast Houston.
The investigation began in 2019 when law enforcement learned West was trafficking narcotics. The information regarding drug trafficking as well as West’s known position as an influential gang member in southeast Houston triggered the multi-agency investigation.
West has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a federal prison facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the investigation with assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Houston Police Department.
The plea is a result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation dubbed Operation Bullet Trap. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States. It uses a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found on the Department of Justice’s OCDETF webpage.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Corley and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Devon Helfmeyer prosecuted the case.