The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

August 6, 2008

Rapper charged in drug bust

$264K found in chest likely funded suspect’s recording career, task force officers say

In his rap lyrics,“Mr. Btay” talks of his prolific wealth.

The Limestone County rapper, better known as Alphonso Brontay Benford, also says he’s “big ballin’ ” and “draped in ice” – translation – making or having lots of money or engaging in street-level activities of a questionable legality, and dressed in diamonds.

In his song “U ain’t Know,” he says, “From head to shoes, there be nothing but fresh gear, holla at me two years later and I still won’t wear the same thing twice… a different car everyday, my yard looks like a dealership… ”

However, someone suspected “Mr. Btay” may not have been making all his money through record sales, and asked Huntsville Police Department to check him out.

On Tuesday, the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department and Huntsville Narcotics Unit arrested Benford, 32, of Madison, at his home in east Limestone County at approximately 3 p.m. They seized about a half-ounce of marijuana, a few pills believed to be Ecstasy and hydrocodone, and approximately $294,000 in cash. Seven handguns were confiscated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

Copies of Benford’s CD, titled “Dope Boy Fresh,” also were confiscated. The same Louis Vuitton bag, full of cash, which was pictured on the front of Benford’s CD, was seized during the bust, said Limestone County Sheriff Mike Blakely.

Benford may not have a different car for every day of the week anymore. His property, seven vehicles at the residence and other possessions may still be seized, Blakely said.

After six months of investigations and undercover drug buys from Benford, Huntsville Police obtained warrants and then contacted the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office to help find and arrest Benford, said Lt. Jim Winn of the special operations division of Huntsville Police.

About a kilogram of cocaine was seized in undercover buys, Winn said.

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