South Florida rapper Brisco, wanted by the U.S. Secret Service since August, was arrested this week when he made a guest appearance with another musician in Broward County, agents said.
Brisco has performed and recorded with Lil' Wayne, Rick Ross and DJ Khaled. Lil' Wayne signed him to Cash Money Records.
Brisco, whose real name is British Mitchell, 34, is accused of selling counterfeit money to an undercover agent and taking part in a fraud ring that operated in South Florida, authorities said. Mitchell is linked to at least $200,000 worth of illegal activity, investigators said.
Agents testified that Mitchell led law enforcement on two high-speed chases when different agencies tried to arrest him in Broward County and in Miami-Dade County on Aug. 23. One of the chases reached speeds of 90 to 100 mph and both agencies abandoned their pursuits because of the potential danger to the public, investigators said.
Mitchell evaded arrest since then by turning off the cellphone that agents were using to track him, according to prosecutors. He also stopped posting on Twitter, Instagram and other social media, they said. He was officially declared a fugitive in October.
Mitchell was eventually arrested in the early hours of Wednesday morning when he showed up at The Playhouse Gentlemen's Club in Hallandale Beach, according to his family and court records. Agents said he did not resist them this time when they went to arrest him.
Dressed in dark blue jail scrubs and handcuffed and shackled, Mitchell, who grew up in Opa-locka, did not speak during a detention hearing Friday afternoon in federal court in Fort Lauderdale. He has not yet indicated if he will fight eight federal charges linked to identity theft, fraud and selling counterfeit currency.
If convicted, he faces at least two years and nine months in federal prison, prosecutor Karen Stewart told the judge. The evidence "shows he has fled whenever he has gotten the opportunity," she said.
Mitchell was already wanted since late 2015 because he had absconded from state probation for possession of ecstasy and driving violations, she said.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow ordered that Mitchell will be jailed with no bond, ruling there was a significant risk he could flee if he were released.
When Mitchell was arrested, he told agents that he had known since August that he was wanted and that he had already read the charges and allegations against him, Secret Service Agent Brian Lawson testified.
Mitchell is accused, along with several friends, of being part of an identity theft and credit card fraud ring that used deception to buy items at local home-improvement stores, investigators said. The items were then sold to contractors at reduced prices, according to prosecutors. They said the ring operated in Broward and Miami-Dade counties between November 2015 and August 2016.
Mitchell also is accused of selling forged notes to an undercover agent, according to the indictment. He was recorded on audio and video committing some of the offenses, Lawson said.
In a separate incident, Broward sheriff's deputies were called to an Oakland Park furniture store on the afternoon of Aug. 23 because Mitchell and his girlfriend were attempting to buy furniture, Lawson testified. He said Mitchell and his girlfriend had previously been placed on a "flagged" customer list because they had tried to make fraudulent purchases at two furniture store chains.
When deputies showed up, Mitchell ran out and took off in his car, investigators said. Deputies chased him for a while but gave up because of the potential to cause an accident, authorities said. Mitchell is not expected to face any charges related to that incident, agents testified.
Lawson testified that, later that evening, he and other law enforcement went to try to arrest Mitchell at the gated community in Miami Gardens where Mitchell lived. Mitchell took off again in his black Lexus GS 350, with Lawson following him, but the agent said he stopped the chase, for safety reasons, after they ran through two red lights and reached speeds of 90 to 100 mph.
Agents said they eventually tracked Mitchell down after another performer posted on social media that he would be making a guest appearance at the Hallandale Beach strip club.
Mitchell's lawyer Assistant Federal Public Defender Chantel Doakes told the judge that Mitchell was performing at the club that night with another artist who had featured Mitchell's work in a song. Doakes said Mitchell's girlfriend and his sister were willing to co-sign on $150,000 worth of bonds and she suggested he could be placed on house arrest with electronic monitoring.
"He's a well-known rap artist," Doakes told the judge. "There's no evidence he was even in hiding."