NEW YORK, April 30 (UPI) -- New York-based music label Murder Inc. is at the center of a federal investigation involving drugs and several East Coast slayings.
The FBI and New York Police Department are investigating Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff, believed to be the financial backer for rap king Irv Gotti and Murder Inc., and McGriff's alleged involvement in three murders during the summer of 2001, The Smoking Gun reported on its Web site Friday.
Investigators allege McGriff, 43, bankrolled Gotti and has "provided Murder, Inc. with 'muscle' -- threats, violence, and intimidation," court papers said.
McGriff is suspected of arranging for the July 2001 killing of Eric Smith, a 30-year-old rapper known as E-Money Bags.
McGriff also is a key suspect in the August 2001 slaying in Baltimore of Karon Clarrett, whom McGriff suspected was cooperating with authorities.
Clarrett, 28, and a friend were shot in a parking lot across from the apartment complex where McGriff kept his drug stash.
Murder Inc. is the recording home to top selling artists Ashanti and Ja Rule.