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Sheff G was close to release when hit with conspiracy charge

Brooklyn, N.Y., prosecutors have accused prominent Brooklyn rappers Sheff G and Sleepy Hallow of a conspiracy to allegedly kill members of a rival gang.

Sheff G, whose real name is Michael Williams, was arrested and charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit murder on Tuesday, according to court records. Sleepy Hallow, whose name is Tegan Chambers, was also charged with conspiracy charges.

The pair of performers are among 32 individuals who were charged in the case, which spans a dozen shootings with 13 victims, including one person who died and three bystanders who were injured. The crimes occurred from March 2019 to present day, according to the 140-count indictment filed by the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, which held a high-profile press conference featuring New York Mayor Eric Adams and top law enforcement officials.

Williams’ attorney Mitchell Elman responded to The Times’ questions, but was not immediately available to comment

Under their performing names, Williams and Chambers were frequent collaborators and are considered pioneers of the growing Brooklyn drill rap scene, which exploded in popularity over the past half-decade. The late rapper Pop Smoke, who was killed in February 2020 in Los Angeles, was one of the scene’s most visible artists. Williams rose to fame in 2017 with a viral single, “No Suburban.” He and Chambers command social media followings of hundreds of thousands, with their music garnering hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify and YouTube.

However, during his ascent, prosecutors allege Williams had been funding a Flatbush-based gang, 8 Trey Crips, and its affiliated 9 Ways gang, according to the indictment and a district attorney’s news release.

Prosecutors alleged in court documents that Williams had treated members of the gang to a Manhattan steakhouse to celebrate a drive-by shooting in October 2020 in which one alleged rival gang member was killed and five other alleged gang members were injured.

After buying a mansion in Short Hills, N.J., prosecutors alleged Williams, who had recently signed a partnership deal with RCA Records, had used his music earnings to fund further alleged gang shootings, “offering money and giving expensive jewelry to those who commit acts of violence.” Prosecutors also said he had allegedly helped coordinate one of the shootings in April 2021 in which two innocent bystanders were hit by gunfire, and acted as a getaway driver.

When prosecutors filed the recent conspiracy charges, Williams was still serving time for a 2021 gun charge at a Rikers Island jail, according to New York Department of Corrections records. In January 2021, police had pulled Williams over for speeding and an illegal U-turn and found a gun in his car, according to the New York Daily News. He pleaded guilty to the gun charge later that year and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Prison records showed his earliest projected release was set for June 15.

While Williams was locked up, fans eagerly anticipated his release. In a video posted to Williams’ Instagram account earlier this week, Williams had phoned in from prison during a Sleepy Hallow concert where Chambers held his phone to a large crowd that chanted, “Free Sheff!” With the cell against the microphone, Williams responded, “I love y’all! I’m coming home soon!”

Williams and Chambers were slated to perform at Miami’s Rolling Loud hip-hop music festival in July, which is headlined by Playboi Carti, Travis Scott and ASAP Rocky.

Williams is incarcerated at a facility in Queens, N.Y., according to jail records, where he awaits his next court date on Aug. 9.

In interviews, Williams had shared his experiences growing up around street violence, which left him and others in his neighborhood “scared and paranoid” and with “PTSD,” he told Passion of the Weiss in a 2019 interview. The rapper had also been candid about his affiliation with Brooklyn gangs, but rejected the negative connotations, such as violence and criminal activity.

“It’s more like a brotherhood,” Williams said. “If you living on a block and you coming outside, this is people that you with every day … This is our neighbors, you feel me? You know each other’s moms. You eating together. Holidays celebrating. These are your brothers now. Now, y’all like family. Y’all built this relationship. Everybody loves each other. It’s not just a ‘gang’ with everybody wildin’ recklessly. It’s more than that.”

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