A York City man who is both an aspiring rapper and a purported member of the Bloods crime gang will be taking a forced sabbatical from his music career to serve state prison time related to his day job — being a drug dealer.
But no one can accuse Jody Gordon Jr. of not giving that job his all.
Gordon, who goes by the rap name "Jayo Foreal," remained free on bail on his criminal case, in which he was charged with multiple counts of dealing cocaine and possessing a stolen gun. As a convicted felon, Gordon is prohibited from having guns.
While free on bail in that case, he was arrested twice more for dealing drugs, according to deputy prosecutor Jennifer Smith — including while he was actually on trial.
On Tuesday, Gordon, 28, of Kurtz Avenue, was sentenced to a total of 7-1/2 to 15 years in state prison for charges including dealing cocaine and heroin, and for being a felon in illegal possession of a firearm, Smith said.
Surveillance: He already had a felony robbery conviction under his belt when he was arrested by members of the York County Drug Task Force July 26, 2011, in front of his former Hay Street home.
Gordon had been under surveillance by the task force, which had obtained a warrant to search his home and had headed there about 2:40 p.m., documents state.
He was in his wife's car when he spotted task force members, Smith said.
"He jumped out of the moving car and ran a short distance," but was quickly tackled by police, who found a stolen Taurus 9mm handgun hidden under the car's driver seat, she said.
Gordon posted his $100,000 bail and was released.
2nd drug case: On April 24, 2013, Gordon allegedly sold heroin to an informant, York City Police allege. When police arrested Gordon about a week later on the charge, he was driving his gold Mercedes-Benz, which officers searched.
In it they found a stolen Ruger 9mm handgun, documents state. Police charged him with drug dealing and illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. Gordon is still facing trial on that case.
He was released on those charges after posting an additional $60,000 bail, according to the prosecutor.
Bail motion: Smith said she filed a motion with Common Pleas Judge Michael E. Bortner to have Gordon's bail revoked on the first case, arguing Gordon violated his bail conditions by incurring new criminal charges.
But the motion was continued several times, she said.
On July 8, 2013, the first day of Gordon's trial on the 2011 drugs-and-gun case, Smith again asked for Gordon's bail to be revoked, she said.
But Bortner allowed him to remain free on bail, according to court records.
Saw informant: Gordon's trial was still ongoing July 9, 2013, when he was arrested for delivering cocaine — "after making eye contact with the (undercover officer) who had just testified against him in trial that day," Smith said.
His bail was revoked two days later, the prosecutor said.
"He still had the nerve ... to go out and sell drugs while he was on trial for selling drugs," Smith said.
Alleged gang member: Smith said Gordon is "a self-admitted member of the Bloods" crime gang.
But defense attorney George Margetas said Gordon "categorically denies" having ever told law enforcement he's a member of a gang.
Margetas was not unhappy with the 7-1/2 to 15 year prison sentence his client received on Tuesday.
"Quite frankly, Judge Bortner was being very fair in his sentencing of Jody. It could've been a lot worse, considering my client went out and sold drugs while he was pending trial. ... That's the last thing he should have been doing."
Street lifestyle: Gordon grew up in the street lifestyle, according to his attorney.
"Some young men, they don't have school. They don't have money," Margetas said. "This is what they turn to. This is the reality of it. ... And the cycle keeps going. I hope his kids don't fall into it."
Locking up Gordon for 15 years isn't going to do anyone any good, the attorney said, but admitted his client made bad choices.
Taking his lumps: "I'm not trying to make him out to be a victim, because he's not," Margetas said. "He's going to take his lumps like a man."
Both Smith and Margetas said they liked "Jayo Foreal" as a rap artist.
"He's not a bad rapper," Margetas said. "He's not bad at all."
"I do think it's sad he threw away a good career he could have had as a rapper, just to deal drugs," Smith said.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org.