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The Real Rick Ross ~ LA History

4:09 PM PDT on April 27, 2009

Rapper "Rick Ross" of Miami has a new album out, but this isn't about William Leonard Roberts II. This is about "Freeway" Ricky Ross, one of LA's original cocaine dealers who is now incarcerated but due to be released soon.

The Real Rick Ross, as he's now known, has a blog he writes from TEXARKANA FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, where he's serving a sentence stemming from a 1996 conviction of attempting to buy 100 kilos of cocaine from an undercover police officer. But let's back up a little bit...

According to Street Gangs Magazine, Rick Ross was born in Texas, but raised in South Central Los Angeles. A superb tennis player at Dorsey High in the late 70's, his reading and writing skills were so poor, he had no chance to get a College scholarship. Fast forward a few years and

Ross' friend from San Jose State University told him about cocaine, a drug that was becoming more popular with the upscale party crowd but not popular among inner city residents. Through a cocaine-using auto upholstery teacher Ross knew at LATT, he met a Nicaraguan named Henry Corrales, who began selling Ross and his best friend, Ollie ''Big Loc'' Newell, small amounts of this new drug. Because Ross and Newell where plugged into the LA gang scene they were able to quickly distribute the product in South Los Angeles. Eventually Corrales introduced Ross to Danilo Blandon a major supplier from Nicaragua. From that relationship, Ross went from a small time pusher to one of American most profitable street dealers in American history.

Blandon eventually would provide Ross with hundreds of kilos of cocaine on consignment and during his height, it was not uncommon to move $2 million or $3 million worth of crack in one day. Ross undercut other dealers and built a flourishing drug empire that spread all over the western part of the United States across to the Midwest.

But Blandon was not just one of the largest cocaine distributors in North America, he was also, according to an explosive, prize-winning series of article by journalist Gary Webb, working for the CIA to assist the Contra rebel group in his native Nicaragua. Danilo Blandon, current whereabouts unknown, served less than 6 years in prison and was given a green card and a job with the DEA when he was released.


But back to Ricky Ross. Stories of the insane amounts of cash, girls, and rock cocaine that were flowing through his empire in the early 80's in Los Angeles are the stuff of legend. Ricky pretty much invented the high flying gangsta lifestyle, all while he was managing thousands of employees and dealing up $2m of cocaine in a single day. Freeway Ricky Ross, perhaps in part due to the CIA allegations coming out, had his 1996 life sentence reduced to 20 years and again reduced for good behavior. Ricky says he is a changed person and wants to do good for the world and make a positive impact. He is supposed to be released on May 4th of this year, and is doing a reality show showcasing his readjustment to society, the trailer of which is below:

The next chapter in the life of the real Rick Ross is unwritten, but it's bound to be fascinating. Has he truly left the street life behind? Can he translate his street skills into those of the legitimate business man? The world will find out soon...

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