t I’m guessing when most people hear the name Rick Ross (real name: William Leonard Roberts II) they’re thinking about the American rapper and founder of Maybach Music. This Rick Ross has a self-created gangster reputation despite having worked as a Florida corrections officer in the ’90s.
But the original Rick Ross, from whom Roberts has been accused of stealing his name, has a reputation that makes the most notorious gangster rappers look like petty criminals. “Freeway” Ricky Ross had, according to the Oakland Tribune and Wikipedia made more than one billion dollars (adjusted for inflation) in the ’80s and ’90s through a drug empire that extended throughout the country.
But the most interesting aspect of Ross’s history is his connection to the Iran-Contra affair in the ’80s. San Joe Mercury News journalist Gary Webb published a series of reports in 1996 uncovering the CIA’s involvement in allowing Nicaraguan Contras to smuggle large amounts of crack cocaine into Los Angeles. Where did this crack go? To ‘Freeway’ Rick Ross.