By Jaia A. Thomas
During the recent reunion episode of Love and Hip-Hop New York, one notable cast member was missing from the raucous and name calling – Mendeecees Harris. You may remember him as the fiancÃ©e of the multihyphenate cast member, Yandy Smith. Smith, a talent manager, was actually one of the creators of Love and Hip-Hop New York, in conjunction with her former boss, Mona Scott-Young.
As speculations swirled this season about the marital and paternity status of many cast members, viewers were perhaps most intrigued by one cast member whose voice was omnipresent but who went sight unseen during the entire season. Where was Mendeecees Harris? Why was he in prison? And when would he be released?
In January 2013 Mendeecees Harris was arrested and charged with narcotics conspiracy and money laundering. Specifically, Mr. Harris was charged with knowingly, willfully and unlawfully combining and conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine (Schedule I Substance) and 1 kilogram of heroin (Schedule II Substance). Such narcotics charges are punishable by a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, plus fines. While the laundering charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years, plus fines.
In conjunction with the documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, the Court seized specific assets from Mr. Harris and his co-conspirators, including such valuables as a Hublot â€œKing Powerâ€ in 18kt rose gold ($45,000) and Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date Chronometer in 18kt yellow gold ($40,000). All in all, federal authorities seized over $406,950 in jewelry. Authorities also seized countless sums from various safe deposit boxes (e.g. $488,900 in a Sovereign Bank safe deposit box, $300,200 in a Bank of America safe deposit box and $122,000 in a Chase safe deposit box).