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Ex-officer suspected of leaking R. Kelly’s jail communications to YouTuber, federal records clearly show

By Jason Meisner
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Chicago Tribune
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CHICAGO — R&B celebrity R. Kelly experienced been locked up at Chicago’s federal jail for four months when a preferred YouTube temperament touted an inside scoop on the singer’s tumultuous romantic relationship with two girlfriends nevertheless residing in his higher-increase apartment.

Seemingly wanting to maintain the females in his camp, Kelly allegedly experienced a friend carry $1,500 in money to the Trump Tower home to aid fork out their bills, blogger Tasha K. explained in an “exclusive” video clip posted to her YouTube channel in November 2019.

One particular of them, Joycelyn Savage, was offended she’d been held off Kelly’s website visitors list, according to Tasha K. The other, Azriel Clary, had still left the apartment and not appear again, throwing Kelly into a tizzy, she claimed.

R. Kelly pleaded not guilty to a new indictment before Judge Lawrence Flood at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, on June 6, 2019.

R. Kelly pleaded not responsible to a new indictment before Decide Lawrence Flood at Leighton Criminal Courtroom Developing in Chicago, on June 6, 2019. (E. Jason Wambsgans)

How did Tasha K. know all this? Effectively, she wasn’t telling.

“Yeah there is a telephone faucet somewhere and I’m not gonna notify you wherever it is at,” Tasha K. advised her viewers in the course of the 39-moment video, which has so significantly gathered far more than 328,000 sights. “I have the plug. I’m not gonna inform you where by I got the information from, but just listen to the damn details, Ok?”

Now, it appears federal investigators allegedly know just how Tasha K. was plugged in. A federal search warrant recently unsealed in Chicago displays that brokers seized a laptop from a U.S. Bureau of Prisons officer who was suspected of illegally accessing Kelly’s recorded cellular phone phone calls, email messages, visitor logs and other limited details all through his stay at the Metropolitan Correctional Heart on West Van Buren Avenue.

The woman officer, who at the time worked as a disciplinary listening to officer at a federal prison in Wisconsin, accessed Kelly’s data a lot more than 150 times in a six-month time period in 2019 even however the officer was not assigned to the MCC and “had no official reason” to be hunting them up, in accordance to the 24-web page doc received by the Tribune.

The officer, determined only as Officer A, also emailed herself a 12-webpage scan of Kelly’s jail data, in accordance to an affidavit from an investigator with the U.S. Justice Department’s inspector general’s business.

The officer retired in December 2019, in accordance to the affidavit. She has not been billed.

The unsealing of the look for warrant comes in the middle of Kelly’s racketeering demo in New York on prices alleging he was the head of a prison business that for many years recruited ladies and young gals and held them towards their will to satisfy Kelly’s unlawful sexual appetites.

Kelly is identified in the warrant only as Inmate A, however he’s described as a “nationally acknowledged superstar whose legal circumstance has gained media notice.” Sources verified the investigation and movies referenced in the federal doc line up with Kelly-similar films posted on YouTube.

In an emailed statement Tuesday, a BOP spokesman wrote the bureau could not remark on “issues pending investigation” for privateness, protection and stability causes.

The paperwork present a glimpse into the unbridled cottage marketplace that has sprung up on social media considering the fact that the allegations towards Kelly exploded in 2019 with the Life time docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly,” which sooner or later led to federal indictments in Brooklyn and Chicago as properly as related charges in Cook County.

Given that then, Kelly’s supporters and detractors have devoted plenty of hrs on Fb, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram parsing each last depth of the singer’s lifestyle and the rates against him.

When a south suburban woman posted Kelly’s $100,000 bail in the Cook County circumstance in February 2019, she right away became a incredibly hot topic of conversation, with some bloggers on social media contacting for a boycott of the cafe she owns, while many others wrongly determined her as the operator of a South Facet day treatment.

As the trial has been unfolding in New York, 1 blogger, who posts underneath the identify Notorious Sylvia, has even been utilizing actors to browse aloud from the demo transcripts, building what she bills as “role reenactment.”

But possibly none of the gossipmongers has been as productive as Tasha K., whose celebrity information dispatches on the YouTube channel “Unwinewithtashak” frequently garner hundreds of 1000’s of views and, presumably, considerable advertising and marketing bucks.

The 39-12 months-old Atlanta-based mostly blogger, whose actual name is Latasha Kebe, frequently touts her videos as providing “exclusive” information and insight into Kelly’s planet, with interviews of key gamers as well as updates on the allegations, which include several that go considerably outside of even the most salacious details supplied in courtroom.

According to the warrant, the warden of Chicago’s MCC initial reported to BOP inside affairs on Nov. 22, 2019, that Tasha K. “had uncovered delicate regulation enforcement information” pertaining to the celeb identified as Kelly, which includes “information that would have been identified to BOP personnel who experienced monitored Inmate A’s phone phone calls or accessed the recordings of these calls.”

The warrant mentions 3 certain movies posted by Tasha K. that are all nonetheless publicly viewable on YouTube. Amongst them was a Nov. 8, 2019, video titled “Exclusive: New R. Kelly ENABLERS Disclosed,” where by she seems to scroll through her cellphone while reading a summary of a new phone among Kelly and Savage that was recorded on the jail’s process.

“I obtained some explosive facts!” Tasha K. says just after taking a sip of white wine from a large goblet. “So Rob termed Joycelyn and she was crying hysterically. She mentioned Azriel was leaving the Trump Tower and she was not coming again. Now I told you I received a (expletive) plug, so this is all specifics.”

Yet another video posted on Dec. 22, 2019, was titled “R. Kelly Produced E-mails PROVES he just cannot read through or write,” in accordance to the affidavit. The 16-minute movie, which had more than 512,000 sights as of Tuesday, attributes Tasha K. reading through verbatim from e-mails Kelly purportedly sent from jail to Savage a thirty day period before, which include facts of how he misspelled the word “Hi” as “Hai.”

“I’m not gonna put it up below for the reason that this is thought of somebody’s non-public facts or whichever,” she suggests, making use of air prices as she looks down at her cell phone. “But, you know, my word? Rely on me.”

Kebe could not right away be achieved for remark Tuesday.

A overview of Officer A’s logins to the Bureau of Prisons inside info system, meanwhile, showed that the officer had improperly accessed Kelly’s information 153 occasions among July 15, 2019, when Kelly initial arrived at the MCC, and Dec. 12, 2019, soon in advance of her retirement, according to the warrant.

In the course of that time, the officer also accessed and printed out Kelly’s customer logs and payments designed into and out of his commissary account, which involved the names of folks sending cash to Kelly although he was in jail, in accordance to the warrant.

On Nov. 13, 2019, the officer sent herself a 12-site scan of Kelly’s jail information from her formal BOP email account to a Gmail deal with registered to her, according to the warrant. Amongst the details in that scan was a log of Kelly’s emails, which include some later divulged by Tasha K. in her video clip weblog.

The warrant sought permission to search Officer A’s desktop computer system for any proof of a criminal offense, which includes any net queries of R. Kelly as perfectly as economical transactions or dialogue of payments with Tasha K.

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