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Freeway Rick Ross

Freeway Rick Ross
Freeway Rick Ross
Freeway Rick Ross

3 Time Joe Rogan Experience guest, Ricky Donnell Ross, also known as The Real “Freeway” Ricky Ross, is an American convicted drug trafficker best known for the “drug empire” that he presided over in Los Angeles, California, in the early 1980s. The nickname “Freeway” came from Ross’ ownership of several properties along the Los Angeles-area Harbor Freeway as well as the existence of a freeway near his childhood home. During the height of his drug dealing, Ross claims to have sold “$3 million in one day.” According to the Oakland Tribune, “In the course of his rise, prosecutors estimate that Ross exported several tons of cocaine to New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and made more than $600 million in the process.”

In 1996, Ross was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of trying to purchase more than 100 kilograms of cocaine from a federal agent. Later that year, a series of articles by journalist Gary Webb in the San Jose Mercury News brought to light a connection between one of Ross’s cocaine sources, Danilo Blandon, and the CIA as part of the Iran-Contra scandal. The decision in Ross’s case was brought to a federal court of appeals where his sentence was reduced to 20 years. His sentence was then reduced further due to being a model prisoner, and he was moved to a halfway house in California in March 2009. Ross was released from prison on September 29, 2009.

On June 18, 2010, Ross sued rapper Rick Ross (real name William L. Roberts) for using his name. Freeway Ricky Ross filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Ross in a California Federal Court.[9] Jay-Z had been called to testify in the lawsuit, as he was CEO of Def Jam when Ross was signed to the label. The reformed drug kingpin was looking for $10 million in compensation in the lawsuit.

Also, the release of rapper Rick Ross’ album, Teflon Don, was threatened to be blocked by Freeway Ricky Ross. A week after the lawsuit was filed, the rapper responded to the charges: “It’s like owning a restaurant; you’re gonna have a few slip and falls. You get lawsuits, you deal with them, and get them out of your way … sometimes you lose.” He then denied rumors that he would change his name to “Ricky Rozay” as a consequence of the lawsuit.

After the lawsuit was dismissed on July 3, 2010, the album Teflon Don was released as scheduled on July 20, 2010. A federal judge ruled that the case should be refiled in California state court because it fell under California state law. Ross refiled the case with the State of California and the federal case is on appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The federal case was appealed to higher court, state case was filed in 2011 in California.

Since then, Freeway Ricky Ross has refiled in Los Angeles superior court with several publicity rights claims. Depositions have been ongoing. Trial was set for early May 2012. The case has been since dismissed by a judge in the Los Angeles superior court.

The California State case was updated with a motion in Freeway Rick Ross’ favor as to Warner Brothers Records and their use of the name and image Rick Ross in July 2012.

A trial has been set for Los Angeles Superior Court August 2013 of Freeway Rick Ross against Rick Ross & Warner Music Group.

In addition to establishing his social networking site, he is in the process of authoring a book, hashing out the terms of a film deal, creating a modeling agency, developing a reality television show and founding a record label. The former drug runner is also interested in bolstering at-risk communities, and is working to create a non-profit foundation to help underprivileged youth.


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