Man’s fate may be in hands of ‘snitches’ he’s railed against for years

Man’s fate may be in hands of ‘snitches’ he’s railed against for years

Rob McElhenney posing for the camera © Provided by Gannett Co., Inc.

Richard B. Grundy III has made no secret of his disdain for people who cooperate with police and prosecutors.

Now Grundy’s fate could be in the hands of the very people he despises — co-defendants who’ve taken plea deals in a sweeping federal drug case that could send him to prison for life.

The convicted drug dealer and aspiring music producer has repeatedly called out “snitches” on social media — even once during the murder trial of a cousin.

He directed and plays a prominent role in the video for “COS (Ain’t No Tellin),” a rap song which includes lyrics and images depicting violence against informants. In one scene, a man is doused in gasoline and set on fire.

He even has a tattoo on his chest of a dead rat in a pool of blood. “Death before dishonor,” the tattoo says. “That snitch sh– I don’t honor.”

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Yet, as of Wednesday, at least 14 of 24 co-defendants in the federal cases have either pleaded guilty or filed plea agreements. Grundy and nine others are slated to go on trial in July.

Grundy is accused of heading an organization that obtained meth, cocaine, heroin and marijuana from Phoenix and distributed the drugs in Indianapolis. He’s entered a not guilty plea.

Grundy’s attorney, Kenneth Riggins, did not respond to a message from IndyStar seeking comment.

At the time of his alleged federal crimes, Grundy was in the process of resolving state criminal cases that included five murder-related charges. The murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges were dismissed, and Grundy ultimately pleaded guilty to a single count of dealing marijuana.

Pleading guilty, pooling money for drugs

The federal indictment alleges that on Aug. 1, 2017 — the same day Grundy entered into a plea deal that resulted in the dismissal of the final three murder conspiracy charges he faced in Marion County — Grundy “organized the efforts of several individuals to pool their money to acquire meth and marijuana from Phoenix, Arizona.”

The $84,500 in cash was given to two associates, who traveled by bus to Arizona, where they were to purchase pot and meth, according to court documents.

The federal indictment also says that on Sept. 20, 2017 — the day before Grundy’s sentencing in Marion Superior Court — Grundy and an associate “possessed approximately two pounds” of meth at an apartment in the 3000 block of N. Meridian St.

After his Marion County sentencing hearing the following day, Grundy walked out of the courtroom a free man due to credit for time he’d previously spent in jail.

Leaving the courtroom — his right arm still showing signs of wounds sustained two months earlier in a shooting at his cousin’s funeral — Grundy said he wanted to get away from Indianapolis and live a normal life.

“I want to live where I ain’t got to look over my shoulders,” he said, “or be harassed every time that I’m pulled over by a police officer or, you know what I’m saying, just being harassed for being me.”

But two months later, the federal indictment landed Grundy back in custody — once again facing up to life in prison. And his use of social media to call out snitches was cited in the new criminal charges.

The indictments describe a video Grundy posted Nov. 3, 2017, on his Facebook page. In it, the indictment says, “he threatened to kill people who cooperated with the federal government in criminal investigations.”

Grundy: No excuses for ‘tellin’

The growing number of his associates who’ve taken plea deals in the federal case hasn’t escaped Grundy, who’s being held in a Kentucky jail while awaiting trial next summer.

In a Facebook post from late October, Grundy addresses what he calls “excuses” people give for snitching. It appears to call out several people who offered reasons that range from worrying about their kids to losing their girlfriends to wanting to avoid a life sentence. Another is dismissed for claiming he had started to cooperate, but came back around and recanted. 

“No different if you ever took a deal or dropped a statement then took it back you still TOLD,” Grundy wrote. “The moral of this message is simple quit tryna justify doing dishonorable sh–.”

Grundy’s post concludes: “This message ain’t for anybody it’s for everybody it apply’s (sic) to.”

When asked about Grundy’s access to his social media accounts, a spokesperson for the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana said that is a question for officials at the Kentucky jail where Grundy is being held. A jail representative did not respond to a call from IndyStar seeking an explanation.

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An IndyStar investigation in 2017 revealed that witness intimidation, a code of silence and a lack of witness protection money often hamper prosecutions.

Grundy and several associates escaped convictions on a number of serious charges, including murder. They sometimes taunted witnesses publicly, at least once posting a witness statement online. In one case, two witnesses refused to testify after one suffered a gunshot wound and another’s house was shot up. In that case, Grundy’s cousin’s trial ended in a hung jury.

Federal prosecutors filed a motion last month for a protective order limiting defendants’ access to “disclosure materials tendered by the government … to prevent unnecessary and harmful disclosure of protected personal identification information during discovery and trial.” Judge Sarah Evans Barker approved the request Oct. 4.

In her ruling, the judge said the defendants “may access and view the materials solely in the presence of counsel and under the direct supervision and control of counsel.” The judge also said defense attorneys “may not give the defendant a copy of the materials” provided by the prosecution.

Just days earlier, another video promoting the “code of silence” was posted on Grundy’s Facebook page. Titled “Why They Tellin,” the lyrics include the lines: “I’ve got a gun and I’m a felon;” and “the bullets, they gonna dissect ya.”

Contact Tim Evans at 317-444-6204 or tim.evans@indystar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @starwatchtim

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Fate of Richard Grundy III could be in hands of ‘snitches’ he’s railed against for years


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