Kevin Chiles: Penthouse Interview

Article by Seth Ferranti

We were a tight, insulated group, and this is what increased our chances of staying safe from foes, as well as from law enforcement. There was a true bond, a real brotherhood. We were willing to give and risk our lives for one another — we were each our brother’s keeper.

There were a bunch of warring factions during this time as well. Many of those at war had at one time been really close friends and down with each other before beefing. The fallout and deaths from the various wars within our world helped define the landscape of that era.

How’d you get busted, and what happened after that?

It was November 1994. When I was arrested, I was on the cusp of signing a major distribution deal for my music company, BOSS Records. I had quit hustling two years prior, and though I knew I was being followed, I did not overly worry about any investigation since all my energies were directed toward my numerous legitimate businesses. Nonetheless, the government wasn’t going to let me go in peace. I was arrested under the federal kingpin statutes, which held mandatory life sentences. But I was more surprised that the vast majority of my 21 codefendants were family members who had no drug ties, and not the numerous others who I had done actual business with over the years.

Over the course of a two-year investigation and more than 8,500 taped conversations, my arrest did not include one piece of evidence that suggested I was selling drugs. However, the charges against so many of my family members and acquaintances showed me the government’s strategy. They were trying to force a plea or cooperation from me with the threat of incarcerating my loved ones, despite the fact that they never had any role in the drug game other than benefiting from my generosity. Despite these threats, I took two cases to trial, where both resulted in mistrials: eight-four and ten-two in my favor. When it was all said and done, I was sentenced to 120 months.

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