BY GEORGE ANASTASIA INQUIRER STAFF WRITER It was a bold move by an ambitious, young rap mogul. At a time when authorities suspected he controlled a vast cocaine operation in Southwest Philadelphia, Alton Coles [NOT pictured] decided to shoot a video about that very world.
New Jack City: The Next Generation would depict the violent rise of a fictional Southwest Philadelphia cocaine ring that used fear, intimidation and murder to take over the streets. Coles, under his hip-hop nickname “Ace Capone,” would star in the 2003 rap music drama as a ruthless cocaine kingpin.
It was, federal authorities now allege, a role the rap music impresario knew well.
But it would take hundreds of hours of surveillance, thousands of wiretapped conversations, scores of undercover drug buys, and the testimony of more than a dozen cooperating witnesses for police and ATF agents to make their case against Coles.
In January, Coles is to go on trial in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, charged with running one of the largest drug operations ever prosecuted in the city — a $25 million network that authorities say flooded the streets with crack and powder cocaine. “This gang was responsible for about 100,000 individual doses hitting the streets each week over a seven-year period,” said U.S. Attorney Patrick L. Meehan. MORE